Do we really need a Numeric Keypad?
People who do a lot of number work, such as accountants, bookkeepers, etc. love the presence of the numeric keypad on the standard keyboard. It makes the number entry process quicker and more accurate.
However, not all of us require the numeric keypad for intensive number entry. The keypad adds at least another 3" to the right hand side of the keyboard. For right hand dominant people, the numeric keypad causes the mouse to be farther away on the right hand side than it does on the left. Consequently, more shoulder movement is required to reach and move the mouse.
The following are some suggestions regarding the numeric keypad.
- Discreet Numeric Keypads: a keypad that is separated from a keyboard is much more flexible in terms of positioning. There are many discreet numeric keypads available.
- Left handed keyboards: such as the Evoluent Mouse-Friendly keyboard, place the numeric keypad on the left, thereby bringing the mouse closer for right handed operators.
- Mouse bridge: place the mouse on something called a mouse bridge, which rests on top of the numeric keypad. It prevents your using the numeric keypad, but if you donít use it anyway, there is not much lost.
- Small footprint keyboard: these keyboards are made small by eliminating the numeric keypad. The numeric keypad on these keyboards is usually embedded within the alphabetic characters, giving you access to a numeric keypad on those rare occasions when you need one.
Example of an embedded keypad. After pressing Num Lock, J becomes 1, K 2, L 3, etc. After pressing Num Lock a second time the keys revert to the letters.