For the Love of the keyboard you already own
Keyclick is a Mac OS X preference pane that provides adjustable audio
feedback for keystrokes, mouse clicks, scroll wheel movement, and
trackpad gestures. Using Keyclick can improve the perception of keyboard
responsiveness, or fill in the missing audio feedback when using tap-to-
click or two finger scrolling on trackpad equipped computers. A free 21-
day trial version is available for immediate download.
Features and Benefits
Provides subtle but important feedback for each keystroke recognized by the system.
Clicks for each auto-repeated character but does not click for modifier keys.
Clicks in real time even when the program you are using is too busy to respond.
Assists touch typing by confirming each successful keystroke.
Relaxes the need for visual feedback of keyboard input.
Adjustable keyclick volume directly from the keyboard.
Activate or mute all sounds with global hot key combination Control-Alt-Command-T.
Optional typewriter sounds.
Optional scroll wheel and mouse button click.
Can exclude selected applications (such as games).
Simple low cost solution.
Years ago keyboards were made with premium key switches that provided a resounding click
when a key snapped over. Today most keyboards are made using rubber domes which can
provide a similar force displacement or tactile feel, but not the sound. Human factors work on
video terminals in the 1980s showed that the perception of keyboard crispness is correlated with
audio feedback. Keyclick provides that feedback while improving on the original.
While there are existing programs that imitate the sound of an old fashioned typewriter, they do
not appear to be intended as a practical touch typing aid. To be most effective, the feedback
needs to be subtle and non-distracting. Keyclick allows you to adjust the volume up or down at
any time without even visiting the Keyclick Preferences Panel. Use Cmd-Shift-) for louder, and
Cmd-Shift-( for softer (or define your own shortcuts). The volume is also affected by the system
volume setting so it can adapt more easily to quiet or noisy surroundings. I suggest starting just
above the softest volume that's clearly discernible.
Many long time computer users have fond memories of a favorite keyboard. Perhaps it was the
Apple Extended keyboard (saratoga) or IBM Model M. Replacement keyboards with premium
mechanical key switches are still available and popular with some programmers (like the Matias
TactilePro), but at $70 and up these keyboards may be more than desired. Keyclick is only $7.99
and works on laptops. If your keyboard seems mushy, or you've ever longed for the crisp sound
and feel of an older keyboard, give it a try. You might be surprised how much you like the
keyboard you already own.