Use the Accessibility Keyboard on Mac
The Accessibility Keyboard is an onscreen keyboard that lets you use your Mac without a physical keyboard. It provides advanced typing (such as typing suggestions) and navigation features that you can customize to make it easier to use your favorite apps.
When you use the Accessibility Keyboard, you can also turn on Dwell, which lets you perform mouse actions using eye- or head-tracking technology.
Tip: The Accessibility Keyboard is used for the macOS Keyboard Viewer, which lets you type in different languages when you change input sources. See Use the Keyboard Viewer.
Turn the Accessibility Keyboard on or off
Turn it on: On your Mac, choose Apple menu > System Preferences, click Accessibility, click Keyboard, click Accessibility Keyboard, then select Enable Accessibility Keyboard.
You can also turn it on by clicking the Show Emoji & Symbols menu in the menu bar, then choosing Show Keyboard Viewer.
If you don’t see the menu in the menu bar, set the option to show it.
Turn it off: In the top-left corner of the keyboard, click the Close button . Or in Keyboard preferences, click Accessibility Keyboard, then deselect Enable Accessibility Keyboard.
Use the Accessibility Keyboard
Adjust system settings: Click the system control buttons to adjust display brightness, sound volume, and video or music playback, or to access Mission Control and Launchpad.
Use typing suggestions: As you type, suggested words are shown. Click a suggestion to insert it in your text.
Enter alternate characters: Click Option-Shift, then a key. If an alternate character exists, such as à, it’s inserted in your text. Press and hold the key to show additional alternate characters.
If you often type characters with diacritical marks, it may be quicker to use dead keys (a modifier key pressed with another key to enter a letter with a diacritical mark). Click Option to highlight the dead keys, click a dead key, then a letter.
For more information about dead keys, see Enter characters with accent marks.
Simplify typing: In the top-right corner of the keyboard, click the Panel Options button , choose Typing, then choose to automatically insert and remove spaces or capitalize sentences (a checkmark indicates an option is on).
Use Dwell: In the top-right corner of the keyboard, click the Panel Options button , choose Dwell, then choose an option. Or in Keyboard preferences, click Accessibility Keyboard, click Options, then click Dwell Options. See Control the pointer using Dwell.
Show additional items in the Accessibility Keyboard
Show or hide toolbars: In the top-right corner of the keyboard, click the Panel Options button , choose Toolbars, then choose toolbars to show or hide (a checkmark indicates a toolbar is shown). For example, you can show the Current Text toolbar, which displays text as you’re typing it in a document or text field, for example, or the Suggestions toolbar, which displays suggested words to use next based on what you’re typing.
To use the Panel Editor to change where the toolbars appear in the keyboard, choose Customize Toolbar Ordering.
Show custom panels: Click the Custom button to display available custom panels created using the Panel Editor. To return to the Accessibility Keyboard, click the Home icon in the top-right corner of the custom panel.
Show or hide the Touch Bar onscreen: If your Mac has a Touch Bar, click the Touch Bar button to display the Touch Bar across the bottom of the screen. Click the button again to hide the onscreen Touch Bar. See the Apple Support article How to use the Touch Bar on your MacBook Pro.
Resize the Accessibility Keyboard
Make it bigger or smaller: Drag a corner of the keyboard.
To resize it without keeping the proportions, click the Panel Options button in the top-right corner of the keyboard, then choose Resize Proportionally (to remove the checkmark).
Reset it to the default size: Click the Panel Options button in the top-right corner of the keyboard, choose Zoom, then choose 100%.
Change Accessibility Keyboard options
In the top-right corner of the Accessibility Keyboard, click the Panel Options button , then choose options (a checkmark indicates an option is on). For example, you can change the appearance of the keyboard to use dark text on a light background, turn Dwell on or off, or set preferences.
Use the Panel Editor on your Mac to customize the Accessibility Keyboard for use with your favorite apps.
If you set the option to fade or hide the Accessibility Keyboard after a period of inactivity, you can make the keyboard fully visible again by moving the pointer over the faded keyboard or, if it’s hidden, moving the pointer.