How to Use the Sticky and Slow Keys Option in MacOS? Tips and Tricks

Bethany Walsh

Feb 19, 2022

The Sticky and Slow Keys option is an accessibility feature in macOS that allows you to make it easier to type by either making the keys stay down after you press them or by making them slow to respond. This can be helpful if you have difficulty typing or need more time to respond to keys.

How to use it?

The standard way to use the sticky and slow keys options in macOS is by pressing and holding the left-top key on your keyboard.

You will see the shortcut pop up on the screen.

In here, you should type 'Option' and then press enter. This will open up a new window with three different modes:

1) Normal (This is the default mode for sticky keys")

2) Sticky"

3) Slow"

Clicking any one of them will activate that mode and close that window.

Sticky keys

Sticky keys allow you to press modifier keys one at a time instead of all at the same time. When you need to type a special character, not on your keyboards, such as an accented letter or the copyright symbol, this can come in handy.

To use sticky keys, press and hold the modifier key (such as Control, Option, or Shift), then tap the letter that you want to type.

For example, if you activate sticky keys with your right hand's middle finger on the shift key and your right hand's index finger on the 'a' key, you can start typing a word or a sentence, but if you press another key (like the left shift), that word or sentence will not be executed. In this case, the "Sticky" mode is more useful than the "Slow" mode.

Slow key

The "Slow" option is more functional but less practical. When it is active, you should press any key in that group, and other keys will not get activated until you release that key. At that point, all of those keys will be activated.

Slow keys make it easier to type capital letters by requiring you to hold down the shift key for longer before releasing it. This can be helpful if you have trouble pressing multiple keys simultaneously.

Press and hold the shift key to use slow keys, then wait until the key turns green before releasing it.

For example, if you activate sticky keys with your right hand's middle finger on the shift key and your left hand's middle finger on the 'b' button, all keys except for the shift key are enabled, and you can type a sentence as long as nothing else happens. In this case, the "Slow" mode is better than "Sticky."

Both modes at the same time

However, what if you want to use both modes simultaneously in different hands? If you press and hold down the left top key as described above, both options will be activated, and nothing will happen until you release that key. Using both modes together is not easy to configure with only one hand, so it is better to switch between them by pressing and releasing the left top key. This way, one mode is active while the other mode is inactive.

Both "Sticky" and "Slow" modes are specific to each group of keys or buttons. In this case, pressing and holding the left top key will activate each group separately, which means we don't need to press enter between groups. So, for example, if you activated the "Sticky" mode for the shift, cmd, and an on my keyboard, you can press and hold down the left top key (shift, cmd, and a) while pressing some other keys to type the sentence in which all of those keys are enabled.

We know that there are probably many more situations where you will want to activate one of those two options. Still, we believe that this should be more than enough information to get you started with these options. In addition, it is worth mentioning that you will be able to configure both modes for every group of keys on your keyboard using the standard method discussed above or by going into System Preferences >''' Keyboard >''' Keyboard Shortcuts.

Now that you know how to use sticky and slow keys, you can start typing like a pro! Experiment with these settings to find the ones that work best for you. With a bit of practice, you'll be able to type faster and more accurately.

One final note: the sticky and slow keys options are handy, but they can be confusing at first, so it is worth taking some time to learn how to use them properly and effectively.

Good luck!

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