Mac OS X: Mouse Keys

Mac OS X Snow Leopard Mouse Keys enables the user to move the pointer by pressing keys on the numeric keypad rather than via the mouse. This will benefit users who are unable to manipulate or have difficulty manipulating the mouse.

Turning On Mouse Keys

By default, Mouse Keys may be turned on in the Universal Access panel of System Preferences:

  1. Chose Apple menu > System Preferences, and click Universal Access. (Alternatively, click on the System Preferences icon OS X Preferences Icon in the dock.)

  2. Click on the Mouse tab.

  3. Check the radio button labeled On in the Mouse Keys section (Figure 1).

  4. If desired, check the box labeled Press the Option key five times to turn Mouse Keys on or off. This will allow you to enable or disable Mouse Keys using the option key rather than via system preferences.

Screenshot of Universal Access control panel for Mouse

Figure 1. OS X Universal Access Mouse options. Check the On radio button (circled above) to enable Mouse Keys.

How To Know That Mouse Keys is Working

By default, OS X will play a sound when enabling or disabling Mouse Keys and when a modifier key is pressed. If the option to Show Universal Access status in the menu bar is enabled in the Universal Access system preferences, a marquee will appear next to the Universal Access icon in the menu bar stating that Mouse keys is on (Figure 2).

Screenshot of Mouse Keys On marquee in the menu bar

Figure 2. Mouse Keys Marquee.

Turning Off Mouse Keys

To turn off Mouse Keys, check the Off radio button in the Mouse Keys section of the Universal Access system preferences. If the options to enable or disable Mouse Keys via the option key was checked, pressing the option key five times will also turn off Mouse Keys.

For More Information

To read more about Mouse Keys for OS X, click on the following links: