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Windows 8.1: The Missing Manual by David Pogue

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The Onscreen Keyboard

If your computer has a physical keyboard, or if your tablet has a removable one, great! But TileWorld was born for touchscreens, and touchscreens generally don’t have moving keys. That’s why, whenever you tap in a spot where typing is required, the onscreen keyboard pops up (Figure 3-7).

Note

Actually, the onscreen keyboard is available at the Windows desktop, too. Of course, it’s primarily useful on touchscreen machines.

No matter what kind of computer you have, you can force the keyboard to appear—even if you haven’t tapped in a typing area. Open the Charms bar, then Settings, and then tap Keyboard. From the pop-up menu, choose “Touch keyboard and handwriting panel.”

In general, this keyboard works pretty much like any keyboard you’ve ever used, with a few exceptions:

  • The keys don’t move. Of course not—it’s a piece of glass! The keys do everything they can, though, to tell you when they’ve been struck. They change color and make little sounds.

  • It has a symbol/number layout. Two, actually. Tap the “&123” key to change all the letter keys into symbol keys: !, @, %, $, &, and so on. Tap the circled key to view a second set of them—less common symbols like ©, <, >, and other currency and brackets. And a numeric keypad appears at the right end of the keyboard.

    To return to the regular alphabet keyboard, tap the “&123” key (which is now “lit up” in color) again.

    Tip

    You ...

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