Skeleton Key Features

Here is a description of Skeleton Key's main features. You can also view a slideshow with screenshots and examples. Skeleton Key has comprehensive help, including "Quick Start Guides" for new users, that provides complete information.

Skeleton Key Control Options
Your choices for controlling Skeleton Key.
Skeleton Key Keyboard Input
How Skeleton Key can be used to control the keyboard.
Skeleton Key Words Features
Features that increase the speed and efficiency of typing.
Skeleton Key Mouse Input
How Skeleton Key can be used to control the mouse.
Skeleton Key Text-to-Speech
Using Skeleton Key for speech synthesis.
Skeleton Key Other Functions
Other advanced functions. (Don't miss these!)
Skeleton Key Customizability
Make Skeleton Key look and act the way you want.

Designed for Windows

System Requirements

Control Options

Most of Skeleton Key's functions are accessible from keys on a highly customizable on-screen keyboard interface. You select keys from the keyboard with a mouse (or equivalent device) in one of three ways: click, hover and scan. Your choice is normally determined by your ability to manipulate the mouse.


If you can comfortably move and click the mouse, choose this method. You can select keys by clicking them.


If you can comfortably move the mouse, choose this method. You can select keys by "hovering" the mouse on them for a length of time set by you. Optionally, you can also select keys by clicking them. (If you have difficulty clicking the mouse buttons, Skeleton Key can help.)


The scan control method requires only the ability to click the mouse. Alternatively, you can use one or two switches.

Skeleton Key will automatically "scan" through the keys of the keyboard. They are highlighted in a completely customizable pattern that lets you narrow in on the key you want. Every time the key you want is highlighted, click to reduce the number of highlighted keys. When the key you want is the only one highlighted, click to select it and perform its assigned function. Scanning will then resume.

Step Scan (beta only)

Step scanning is very similar to automatic scanning, except that you control the scan. Instead of Skeleton Key automatically highlighting keys, you do. A right mouse click moves the highlight forward, and a left click selects the currently highlighted key or keys.

Keyboard Input

The Basics

Almost anything you can do by pressing the keys of a "real" keyboard, you can do with Skeleton Key — often faster and easier. For example, you can:

Beyond the Basics

Integrated into Skeleton Key is a simple and powerful macro language. With it, you can compose macros to type plain text, non-character keys (e.g. Escape, Home and F4), key combinations (e.g. Control-Z and Windows-M), and/or execute other useful commands.

Macros can be used on their own as the function of a key or together with other features, such as auto expansion and scripts.

Words Features

Dual Word Prediction

Dual word prediction includes two features, word completion and word prediction, that make typing easier and faster by suggesting whole words based on what has already been typed. The suggested words are displayed directly on the keyboard. Up to 10 words may be displayed.

Word completion suggests the most frequently used words that begin with the character(s) already typed. Word prediction suggests the words that most recently followed the last typed word. (Skeleton Key remembers up to 10 words that most recently followed each word.)

While you type, Skeleton Key automatically learns new words and which words are typed more often than others and improves its suggestions immediately. Additional words can also be imported from a variety of sources. There is no artificial limit to the number of words you can use. (I'm using a list of 23,587 words now!)

Automatic Word Expansion

Skeleton Key's auto expansion feature automatically "expands" words (usually mnemonic abbreviations) as they are typed by replacing them with predefined macros. For example, the word "sk" could be replaced with "Skeleton Key". (This is often called "abbreviation expansion.")

Automatic Punctuation

Automatic punctuation reduces the number of keystrokes required to punctuate text. You type only the punctuation character, and Skeleton Key takes care of the rest. For example, if you type a period, Skeleton Key will add a space and push Shift (to capitalize the next letter).

The behavior is completely customizable. You can specify up to 10 groups of punctuation characters and what to do when you type them. For example, you may want two spaces after a period.

Mouse Input

Mouse Buttons

Skeleton Key can perform any button action possible with a 3-button mouse. Clicking and double-clicking are simple. You can also easily perform a drag-and-drop operation with a single command (even while scanning!), thanks to Skeleton Key's versatile script function.

If you're using the click or hover control method, when you select a button action it will not be performed immediately. Instead, Skeleton Key activates a smart button delay: It will wait until you move the mouse cursor to the location where you want the action to occur. (This is often called "dwell clicking.")

Mouse Movement

There are three types of scanning mouse cursor movement:

And there are three types of instant mouse cursor movement:


Speech Functions

Skeleton Key can speak any text in a voice you choose and customize. There is a window called the "Speaker" where you can type anything and have it spoken. You can also access speech functions directly from the on-screen keyboard. A key can:

By using the Speaker (to speak as you type) and keys with predefined text (to speak common phrases), Skeleton Key can be a powerful alternative communication tool.

Microsoft SAPI 5.1 TTS

Skeleton Key uses the Microsoft SAPI 5.1 text-to-speech (TTS) technology and comes with three Microsoft voices (also known as "TTS engines"). Any other voices/engines that are compatible with SAPI 5.1 will also work with Skeleton Key.

Other Functions

Run Programs

Skeleton Key can run programs for you. You can simply select the file to run, or you can specify the full command-line with any options you desire.

Repeat Actions

If you're using the scan control method, you can use this function to perform an action repeatedly until you command it to stop. Possible actions include scrolling a window and running a macro.

By repeating a macro, you can do all sorts of useful things. For example, by repeatedly typing Tab you can cycle through all the links on a webpage. Navigating inside text is also made easier by repeatedly typing the arrow keys and other commands.


Skeleton Key's most powerful function can perform up to 10 actions in sequence automatically. A script can include any of the following actions:

Composing a script with Skeleton Key Editor is a simple process of mostly point-and-click. The capabilities of scripts — indeed, the capabilities of Skeleton Key — are limited only by your imagination!


User Profiles

Skeleton Key is highly customizable and easily configured for different purposes or users. The dozens of available options are all neatly organized on one window called the "Profile Editor." A profile is a complete set of user preferences. Simply by loading or changing your profile, you can make Skeleton Key look and act the way you want.

SK Editor and SK Words

Skeleton Key comes with two programs designed specifically for advanced customizing of its powerful features, often with just a few mouse-clicks:

A number of pre-designed keyboard layouts are available, and the default words file has 8,000 words, but with these programs you can easily modify them or make your own. Download and try Skeleton Key now!

Skeleton Key and the key logo are trademarks of CataLaw Inc.
Copyright © 2006 CataLaw Inc. All rights reserved.

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