Freeware for putting a keyboard on your screen
Windows 2000 / Windows Vista / Windows XP / Windows 8 / Windows 2003 / Windows 7
Comfort Software Group
Free Virtual Keyboard is a software-based keyboard and an alternative to physical keyboards.
Emulated keyboards, also called virtual keyboards, were at one time a niche PC tool that came in handy when you spilled your coffee on your actual keyboard. They were also used by IT professionals as well as disabled users who couldn’t interface with a traditional keyboard. Today, however, they’re ubiquitous. Smartphones have them, tablets have them, and even our televisions have them.
This solution is standalone, which means that it has no dependencies and doesn’t require installation. That means that you can install in on a USB flash drive, an SD card or any other portable storage. Many IT pros and even home computer users like to a USB toolkit for emergencies, and this program is a great addition to that collection. You never know when a keyboard will break or you’ll need to interface with a Windows machine that lacks one.
Free Virtual Keyboard functions like any other window. Some virtual keyboards will lock the window to a particular shape and size, but you can move and resize this one however you please, including into a non-standard shape. They keys will simply cascade into place as the available space allows. It also doesn’t demand focus, so you can use this keyboard to type into a focused window on the same screen.
Although Free Virtual Keyboard wasn’t developed as a touchscreen keyboard, it works fine in that role. The keys are easy to read and interact with, and there’s nothing about the program that interferes with touch controls if you have a touchscreen on your Windows laptop, tablet, all-in-one and so forth. It doesn’t even have any particular Windows requirements, so it works on just about any version without emulation all the way back to Windows 95.
It’s worth mentioning that Windows 10 includes an on-screen keyboard. In fact, so-called accessibility keyboards have been included with most versions of Windows. So, what does Free Virtual Keyboard do to set itself apart? Not much unfortunately. It perhaps gives you a little more control over resizing and whatnot. You may prefer the aesthetic, but the Windows keyboard provides a lot of options in that regard. It’d be nice if this keyboard set itself apart with macro support, customizable keys and so forth.
Free Virtual Keyboard is a small standalone app that can fit and run from USB sticks. The virtual keyboard gives users the ability to write in Windows. It eliminates the need for a physical keyboard by displaying a simple, virtual keyboard with the same functions as a real keyboard. It features a sleek, customizable design. Thus, Free Virtual Keyboard appeals aesthetically as well as being a good and easily accessible alternative to a physical Windows keyboard.
Although this free app was originally designed for convenient use on touchscreen PCs, it was also designed to be clickable for mouse and touchpad use. Free Virtual Keyboard comes in handy as a backup in the event that problems should occur with a real keyboard. It stays on top of all open windows and will type into any active window, whether it be word documents or webpages. If the user so chooses, the app can minimize to the background and appear again as needed. Free Virtual Keyboard can be easily moved around the screen, features an option to disable the number pad when it isn't needed. It can even be partially transparent to free up as much workspace as possible, under the user's desires.