Easy Access: Features and How to Use

This article describes the features of the Easy Access control panel.
This article has been archived and is no longer updated by Apple.
Easy Access is a control panel intended to help physically challenged users interact with their computer. Easy Access lets you:
  • Set the computer so you can control the pointer from the numeric keypad instead of using a mouse (Mouse Keys)
  • Type keyboard shortcuts without having to press the modifier keys at the same time (Sticky Keys)
  • Type very slowly (Slow Keys)
You can activate these modifications using preassigned keyboard shortcuts or by opening the Easy Access control panel.

Mouse Keys--Controlling the Pointer from the Keyboard

Within the Easy Access Control Panel is a feature called Mouse Keys. You can use the numeric keypad on the right-hand side of the keyboard (instead of the mouse) to control the movement of the pointer on the screen.

To turn Mouse Keys on, press Command-Shift-Clear (the Clear key is on the numeric keypad.)

To turn Mouse Keys off, press Clear.

With Mouse Keys on, you can click, drag, and perform all the usual mouse actions from the numeric keypad. The 5 key serves as the mouse button: press once to click; press twice to double-click. The 0 key locks the mouse button down for dragging. The decimal point key (to the right of 0) or the 5 key unlocks the mouse button. The numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, and 9 move the pointer on the screen.

You can adjust how quickly the pointer moves on the screen and how long the delay is before the pointer starts moving when you press a mouse key. You can make these adjustments in the Easy Access Control Panel.

Sticky Keys--Making Keyboard Shortcuts Easier to Type

The Easy Access Control Panel also includes a feature called Sticky Keys. You can type keyboard shortcuts (such as Command-S for Save) without actually pressing the keys simultaneously.

To turn Sticky Keys on or off, press the Shift key 5 times without moving the mouse.

With Sticky Keys on, you can type a keyboard shortcut by first pressing the modifier key (Command, Control, Shift, Option, and Caps Lock) and then pressing the character key. An icon in the right end of the menu bar (to the right of the Application menu icon) changes to indicate whether Sticky Keys is on and whether a modifier key has been pressed or locked.

You can have Sticky Keys make an alert sound when a modifier key is pressed. You set this option in the Easy Access Control Panel.

Slow Keys--Adjusting the Keyboard for Very Slow Typing

Within the Easy Access Control Panel is a feature called Slow Keys. You can type very slowly and the computer ignores accidental keystrokes by delaying the acceptance of the next keystroke.

To turn Slow Keys on or off, hold down the Return key for about 4 seconds, until an alert sound indicates that the feature is on or off.

You can adjust how long you want Slow Keys to delay acceptance of the next keystroke. You can also set Slow Keys to make an audible click each time a key is pressed. You make these adjustments in the Easy Access Control Panel.

Easy Access only works if it is in the Control Panels folder inside the System Folder when the Macintosh starts up.
Published Date: Feb 19, 2012

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