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Customizing Windows or Windows NT

Visual Studio .NET 2003

Accessibility features have been built into Windows and Windows NT since the introduction of Windows 95. These features are useful for individuals who have difficulty typing or using a mouse, are blind or have low vision, or who are deaf or hard-of-hearing. The features can be installed during setup, or you can add them later from your Windows installation disks. Look up "accessibility" in the Windows Help Index for information about installing and using these features.

  • Some of the accessibility features built into Windows and Windows NT can be added to earlier versions of those products, and MS-DOS, through Access Pack files. You can download these files from http://www.microsoft.com/enable/.
  • Dvorak keyboard layouts make the most frequently typed characters on a keyboard more accessible if you have difficulty using the standard "QWERTY" layout. There are three Dvorak layouts: for users who type with two hands, for users who type with the left hand only, and for users who type with the right hand only. You do not need to purchase any special equipment to use these features. You can download the Dvorak layouts from http://www.microsoft.com/enable/.
  • In Windows 98 and later versions of Windows, the majority of accessibility settings can be set through the Accessibility Wizard or Control Panel. The Accessibility Wizard presents features sorted by disability, making it easy to customize Windows to each individual's needs. The Accessibility Wizard also enables you to save your settings to a file that can be used on another computer.

The specific features available, and whether they are built in or must be obtained separately, depend on which operating system you are using.

Step-by-Step Guides

Microsoft offers a series of step-by-step guides that introduces you to some of the most commonly used accessibility features and shows you how to use them to customize your computer.

The guides provide detailed procedures on how to accomplish the customization, generally by selecting options or changing settings. This information is presented in a side-by-side format so that you can see at a glance how to use the mouse, the keyboard, or a combination of both.

Visit http://www.microsoft.com/enable/ to find Step-by-Step Guides for the following products:

  • Microsoft Windows Me
  • Microsoft Windows 2000
  • Microsoft Windows 98
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 5
  • Microsoft Word 2000
  • Microsoft Outlook 2000
  • Microsoft Help Menus

Accessibility features are also documented in the Microsoft Windows 95 Resource Kit, the Microsoft Windows 98 Resource Kit, the Microsoft Windows NT Resource Kit, and the Windows 2000 Resource Kit. For more information about installing and using these features, look up "accessibility" in the Windows Help Index.

See Also

Accessibility for People with Disabilities

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