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Weary Of Data Entry Errors? – Learn About The Overlay Keyboard

Typing manufacturing and quality control information into a computer can be time intensive. Every second used typing at a keyboard is time not performing other work. People can use hours typing shifts, downtime both scheduled and unscheduled, and defects to cite a few.

To speed data entry programs implement shortcut keys. While shortcuts can increase input speed they need to be learned and then recalled. We all have seen a key combination that we soon forgot.

Employing an overlay keyboard alone or in combination with a normal keyboard can be the solution. An overlay keyboard adds the extra functionality that a regular keyboard does not. Your imagination is the only constraint on how an overlay keyboard can be used in any application.

Items to search for in an overlay keyboard include:

Ability to replicate every characters and commands

Unlike a numeric keypad that simply sends digits to the computer an overlay keyboard can send all of the characters or commands on a normal keyboard. This includes all control and alternate key combinations, arrow keys, page controls keys and tab key to mention a few.

Multiple characters/commands per key

Each key on an overlay keyboard can transmit any series of characters and commands. An individual key can send a single character/command or an arbitrarily long sequence.

Speed control

The speed of the computer, operating system and ability of the programmer all determine how fast the computer can handle characters. With an overlay keyboard you can establish a default speed at which characters and commands are transmitted to the computer and then vary the speed as conditions change. Also time delays can be altered in a key sequence for slow section of program code.

Repeat commands

An overlay keyboard will allow a segment of a key sequence to be repeated for as long the key is held down. When the key is released the remaining section of the key sequence is executed.

Plenty of keys that are easily labeled

An overlay keyboard needs to have plenty of keys that can be easily labeled. It needs to be straightforward to alter the labels when the purpose of the keys change. It is also desirable if the keys can be color coded for easy location.

Easy to configure

The overlay keyboard should be simple to program. The commands should be straightforward and intuitive. Up loading the program into the keyboard needs to be fast and simple.


Like all equipment that are used in an industrial setting an overlay key needs to be sturdy. The keyboard needs to be constructed of metal to survive heat, cold, dirty fingers and all other conditions the work place may present.

To learn additional information concerning overlay keyboards and the many way they can be employed stop by Philip Kidder’s website.

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