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Suggestions for Accountants, Bookeepers, Bank Workers and others who do extensive numeric entry

Numeric Keypads

Accountants and bookkeepers are, perhaps, the ones who use the numeric keypad the most often. The numeric keypad allows efficient and speedy numeric entry, functioning like a traditional "adding machine."


However, one of the major problems of the numeric keypad section of the keyboard is that it is fixed to the keyboard. It cannot be moved independent of the keyboard and repositioning of the keypad requires repositioning of the keyboard.


While this may be inconvenient, it is not onerous and in many cases is not an issue. Problems begin to arise when numeric entry is done repetitively for prolonged periods of time. Shoulder discomfort is a frequent symptom of extensive numeric entry as the arm is suspended off to the right side of the keyboard. Options for repositioning are limited because the keypad is attached to the keyboard.

Mousing

Another feature of accounting/bookkeeping activities is the need to frequently move the cursor to the appropriate field in order to enter the numeric data. There is a repetitive sequence of events: move cursor, click in the field, enter numeric data, move cursor, click in the field, enter numeric data, etc.

Purists will say that all software comes with keyboard shortcuts, and that use of these short cuts (such as Tab) will reduce the need to use the mouse. While this is true, as often as not people will use the mouse.

Relative Position of the Mouse and the Numeric Keypad

A person operating their mouse with the right hand will place the mouse beside the numeric keypad section of the keyboard. An unsupported arm moving back and forth between the mouse and numeric keypad can develop shoulder discomfort.

Solutions

Mini Keyboard

A numeric keypad, separate from the keyboard, can be easily repositioned to accommodate different desktop setups, especially when used in conjunction with an adjustable or a compact keyboard.


The image to the right is of a Kinesis Low Force Tactile Numeric Keypad and is used as an example. There are many keypads, which can be viewed on the Numeric Keypad page.


More discussion of the numeric keypad can be viewed on the Do we need a numeric keypad page.



Numeric Keypad with an Adjustable Keyboard

These images are of the Kinesis Freestyle Keyboard used in conjunction with a numeric keypad. These images are examples to show how an Freestyle separated keyboard/numeric keypad setup can be arranged when the keypad is not part of the keyboard.


Freestyle Keyboard with Numeric Keypad in the centre
Freestyle Keyboard with Numeric Keypad in the centre

Freestyle Keyboard with Numeric Keypad on the left
Freestyle Keyboard with Numeric Keypad on the left

Freestyle Keyboard with Numeric Keypad on the right
Freestyle Keyboard with Numeric Keypad on the right

Numeric Keypad with an Adjustable Keyboard and a Stationary Mouse

These images are of the Kinesis Freestyle Keyboard used in conjunction with a numeric keypad and a Cirque Touchpad. The touchpad is an example of a stationary mouse (a mouse which can be operated without having to be held and moved on the desk).


The following images are examples to show how an adjustable keyboard/numeric keypad/stationary mouse (touchpad) setup can be arranged when the keypad is not part of the keyboard.


Freestyle Keyboard with Touchpad Mouse in the centre and Numeric Keypad on the right
Freestyle Keyboard with Touchpad Mouse in the centre and Numeric Keypad on the right. This arrangement allows the operator to manipulate the mouse with either hand.

Freestyle Keyboard with Touchpad Mouse on the left and Numeric Keypad on the right
Freestyle Keyboard with Touchpad Mouse on the left and Numeric Keypad on the right. This arrangement separates the mouse and numeric keypad activities.

The following image shows how a compact keyboard/numeric keypad/stationary mouse (trackball) setup can be arranged. The smaller keyboard allows the numeric keypad and mouse to be arranged in a smaller space, reducing shoulder movement to reach the mouse or keypad. The devices can easily be rearranged depending on tasks.


Compact Keyboard (SK3001) with Numeric Keypad on the right and trackball (Kensington Slimblade) on the left.
Compact Keyboard (SK3001) with Numeric Keypad on the right and trackball (Kensington Slimblade) on the left.

The following image shows how a compact keyboard/numeric keypad setup can be arranged. When a mouse is not required (because you are using the keyboard shortcuts) this can be a very effective setup.


Compact Keyboard (SK3001) with Numeric Keypad on the right.
Compact Keyboard (SK3001) with Numeric Keypad on the right.

The next image shows how a compact keyboard with a built-in numeric keypad setup can be arranged.


Compact Keyboard (SK3001) with Numeric Keypad on the right.
SolidTek Compact Financial Keyboard (SK700) with HumanScale SwitchMouse on the right.

The following image shows how an 'A' Style Slanted Keycap keyboard/RollerMouse setup can be arranged. The mouse pointer is manipulated by moving the rollerbar, so no reaching for the mouse is required. The 'A' Style Keyboard has slanted keys, reducing the amount of ulnar deviation. It uses a standard numeric keypad. The RollerMouse is a stationary mouse that can be operated by either hand.


A' Style Slanted Keycap keyboard with a RollerMouse Pro2 Mouse.
'A' Style Slanted Keycap keyboard with a RollerMouse Pro2 Mouse.

If you have only numeric data to input, then one option is to push the keyboard to the side and use just a numeric keypad alongside a stationary mouse.


Numeric Keypad with a touchpad
Numeric Keypad with a touchpad.

Numeric Keypad with a trackball
Numeric Keypad with a trackball.


Some combination keyboards have the mouse positioned very close to the numeric keypad, reducing the amount of movement needed between mouse and numeric keypad.


SK7070 Combination Keyboard
SK7070 Combination Keyboard.