Patricia shared a great tip with me about using the numeric keypad as a trackball or mouse replacement. She writes:

 “I used it for years as my only pointing device, as I cannot drive a rodent, and that’s all there was. Now, of course, we have trackballs, touchpads, touchscreens, and all kinds of choices, but I still favor using the numbers in some circumstances, or in emergencies. My laptop has a touchscreen driver that periodically seizes up and freezes.”

Here’s how to enable in it in Windows 10:

Type Ease of Access Mouse Settings into the search box and click on the result.


Under Mouse Keys, turn on Use numeric keypad to move mouse around screen.


Patricia suggests recommends sliding the Use mouse keys when Num Lock is on option to the Off position.

You can also set up these features by opening the Control Panel and going to the Ease of Access Center.


Select Change how your mouse works.


Scroll down to Turn on mouse keys and tick the box next to it.


Click on Set up Mouse Keys to adjust the Pointer Speed. Patricia suggests choosing the highest speed and the fastest acceleration, setting the NUM LOCK to the Off position, and making sure that you tick the box to display the mouse keys icon on your taskbar.


Here’s what that icon looks like on your taskbar:

Patricia leaves the utility running all the time:

“Not only in case something else fails, but it’s terrific for image management and photo editing because it’s really precise. I’m clumsy with a trackball, and possibly most people aren’t able to manage superfine movements with their usual pointing devices. It will move very small distances and always in perfectly straight lines. Need to crop an almost invisible distance larger or smaller? Just click “0” at the sizing handle, click a direction key, and then click “.” to drop. Want to resize an area while maintaining the aspect ratios? Line up your cursor over a corner sizing handle, click “0” to lock, move the corner in a perfectly straight line with a diagonal number key, click “.” to drop.”

Here’s a list of numeric keypad commands:

To move the mouse pointer Press
Up and to the left 7
Up 8
Up and to the right 9
Left 4
Right 6
Down and to the left 1
Down 2
Down and to the right 3


Selecting a mouse button

Before you use Mouse Keys to click items on your screen, you must first select which mouse button you want to be the active button: the left button, the right one, or both.

To Press
Select the left mouse button The forward slash (/)
Select both buttons The asterisk (✲)
Select the right mouse button The minus sign (-)

If you make the left mouse button the active button it will stay that way until you choose another button.

After you choose a button, you can click items on your screen.

To Do this
Click an item With the left button selected as your active button, point to the item, and then press 5
Right-click an item With the right button selected as your active button, point to the item and then press 5
Double-click an item With the left button selected as your active button, point to the item and press the plus sign (+)

Dragging items using Mouse Keys

You can use the numeric keypad to press and hold the active mouse button and to release it. This is helpful if you want to drag an item.

To Do this
Drag an item Point to the item and then press zero (0)
Drop an item Point to the location where you want to move the item and then press the decimal point (.)