Lightweight and portable utility that gives you an on-screen virtual keyboard that you can operate with your mouse
Windows 8 / Windows ME / Windows 7 / Windows Vista / Windows 2000 / Windows 95 / Windows 98 / Windows XP
On-Screen Keyboard Portable for Windows is a virtual keyboard that fits on a USB flash drive.
On-Screen Keyboard Portable is an emulated keyboard. The program window is shaped like a keyboard and represents all the keys you’d find on a physical keyboard. These buttons are activated by hovering over them and clicking a mouse button. The program is portable, which means it doesn’t require installation. It also has a small footprint, so it easily fits on an SD card or a USB flash drive.
Virtual keyboards were once a niche PC tool, but those days are long gone. Most people use virtual keyboards everyday of their lives on their smartphones, tablets and other devices. While an emulated keyboard probably isn’t something you’d want to use with an actual keyboard present, it can be a big help when your keyboard is malfunctioning or damaged and you need an interim solution. It’s worth noting that most Windows versions do feature an accessibility keyboard that serves a similar purpose. It’s also worth noting that you can use a virtual keyboard to circumvent key loggers and similar programs.
A virtual keyboard also has a place in almost every IT professional’s toolbox. It’s just useful to have it on hand for when keyboard is missing or damaged or a special key is present or easily accessed. On-Screen Keyboard Portable supports Window’s and other special keys. The program also works on nearly all Windows versions, including Windows 95. You can move and resize the keyboard, and it has a number of other personalization options that will persist between uses.
The persistence is what sets On-Screen Keyboard Portable from many other virtual keyboards. Your preferences are on your USB flash drive or whatever and are with you wherever you go. For roaming IT professionals, this is particularly nice since you don’t have to adjust settings at each workstation. One key area where this app could be improved would be hotkey and macro support.
On-Screen Keyboard Portable gives you a virtual keyboard that you can use on any computer. The computer keyboard appears onscreen and allows you to type using your mouse. The keyboard can be installed on a USB drive and used on virtually any computer you use. This provides a great security option, especially if you think your computer might be infected by a keylogger. By using the onscreen keyboard, programs can't detect your passwords or text entered into a form. The keyboard has plenty of advanced options as well.
On-Screen Keyboard Portable can be resized and moved to fit any size screen. It provides a simple design, and it even remembers your settings when you quit. The software does protect you from hardware keyloggers, but it might not protect you from software-based keyloggers, since those types of keyloggers capture any text entered into your computer. You can use the keyboard to enter sensitive information online to protect you on unknown programs. If you suspect a program is trying to save your passwords, you can also type a few words using the keyboard and then type some garbage text into another text-based application. Then, resume typing the password. This process can prevent a keylogger from getting your password.
On-Screen Keyboard Portable provides the same basic functionality as the Windows-based keyboard, but you can save your preferences and take it with you anywhere. The program is free, light-weight and doesn't require you to install it on the actual computer. Keep this keyboard on your USB device and use it anywhere where you need an alternative to a hardware-based keyboard. They keyboard has all of the basic functions you would expect, including a number pad on the side, the backspace and insert keys, and all of the special Windows, shift, control and alt keys. The menu on the top of the software allows you to access a "File" menu to open a configuration file. The "Keyboard" menu allows you to select various functions that affect how the software runs. The "Settings" menu provides access to the most commonly used settings you might use to configure the keyboard.
The On-Screen Keyboard Portable doesn't provide any advanced features, and it's just a basic keyboard. But, it's lightweight design and portability make it a useful tool for techies that need to move from computer to computer or those that don't want to install a keyboard while testing multiple computers. In short, it fulfills its role as a software-based keyboard but provides no special functions.