Business Studies

Parts of a computer keyboard

Before we actually look into the parts of computer keyboard, let us look at the meaning of keyboard. A Keyboard is an input device used to feed data into the computer system


Parts of the Computer Keyboard

The following are the parts of a computer keyboard:

  1. Alphabetical keys
  2. Numerical keys
  3. Special character keys
  4. Control keys
  5. Function keys
  6. Caps lock key
  7. Alternate key
  8. Space bar key
  9. Back space key
  10. Escape key
  11. Shift key
  12. Tab Key
  13. Home keys
  14. Delete key
  15. Arrow keys
  16. Enter/Return key

Uses (Functions) of the Parts of the Computer Keyboard

(i) Alphabetical keys: They are keys used to type-in alphabets into computer system.

(ii) Numerical keys: They are above the alphabets. They are used to type-in numbers into computer system.

(iii) Special Character keys: They are keys used for special characters. They share the same keys with numerical keys but are written at the upper part. Examples are:  % @ ! $ * & ^ etc. Shift key will first be pressed down before special characters can be used.

(iv) Control Keys: It is used to execute command with other key(s).

(v) Functions keys: They are used alone or with the Ctrl, Alt and Shift keys to execute software commands. They are located at the top of the keyboard (F1, F2, F3, etc.).

(vi) Caps Lock Key: It is a toggle key i.e. on/off. It is used to shift from the lower case character to the upper case characters and vice versa. When it is pressed, the cap lock indicator light will be on and all characters are in upper cases.

(vii) Alternate key (Alt): This is located at the left of the space bar. It is known as the alternate key and used to execute commands with other key(s).

(viii) Space Bar key: It is used to insert space between words and sentences. It moves the cursor to the right when pressed and leaves spaces in-between texts when pressed.

(ix) Back Space key: It erases character to the left when pressed.

(x) Escape key (Esc): It is used to close a software menu or dialogue box.

(xi) Shift key: It is used to make capital letters and certain symbols when used with those keys.

(xii) Tab Key: It is used to move the insertion point to a preset position.

(xiii) Home keys: These are keys where you place your fingers to begin keying. They are: a s d f for the left hand and j k l ; for the right hand.

(xiv) Delete key: It is used to remove the character to the right of the insertion point.

(xv) Arrow keys: They are used to move the insertion point in the direction indicated by the arrow on each key.

(xvi) Enter/Return key: It is used to cause the insertion point to move to the left margin and down to the next line.

Similarities between the Typewriter and Computer Keyboard

The typewriter and computer keyboard are similar in the following ways:

  1. The two have same text character.
  2. They both produce documents in mailable form.
  3. They both receive data with the help of an input device.
  4. The both process data.
  5. The both store data.

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