How the keys are organized
- Typing (alphanumeric) keys. These keys include the same letter, number, punctuation, and symbol keys found on a traditional typewriter.
- Control keys. These keys are used alone or in combination with other keys to perform certain actions. The most frequently used control keys are Ctrl, Alt, the Windows logo key , and Esc.
- Function keys. The function keys are used to perform specific tasks. They are labeled as F1, F2, F3, and so on, up to F12. The functionality of these keys differs from program to program.
- Navigation keys. These keys are used for moving around in documents or webpages and editing text. They include the arrow keys, Home, End, Page Up, Page Down, Delete, and Insert.
- Numeric keypad. The numeric keypad is handy for entering numbers quickly. The keys are grouped together in a block like a conventional calculator or adding machine.
Typing textWhenever you need to type something in a program, e‑mail message, or text box, you'll see a blinking vertical line (
|Key name||How to use it|
Press Shift in combination with a letter to type an uppercase letter. Press Shift in combination with another key to type the symbol shown on the upper part of that key.
Press Caps Lock once to type all letters as uppercase. Press Caps Lock again to turn this function off. Your keyboard might have a light indicating whether Caps Lock is on.
Press Tab to move the cursor several spaces forward. You can also press Tab to move to the next text box on a form.
Press Enter to move the cursor to the beginning of the next line. In a dialog box, press Enter to select the highlighted button.
Press the Spacebar to move the cursor one space forward.
|Press Backspace to delete the character before the cursor, or the selected text.|
Using keyboard shortcuts
Find program shortcuts
Keyboard shortcuts appear next to menu items.
Choose menus, commands, and optionsYou can open menus and choose commands and other options using your keyboard. In a program that has menus with underlined letters, press Alt and an underlined letter to open the corresponding menu. Press the underlined letter in a menu item to choose that command. For programs that use the ribbon, such as Paint and WordPad, pressing Alt overlays (rather than underlines) a letter that can be pressed.
Press Alt + F to open the File menu, then press P to choose the Print command.
Useful shortcutsThe following table lists some of the most useful keyboard shortcuts. For a more detailed list, see Keyboard shortcuts.
|Press this||To do this|
Windows logo key
Open the Start menu
Alt + Tab
Switch between open programs or windows
Alt + F4
Close the active item, or exit the active program
Ctrl + S
Save the current file or document (works in most programs)
Ctrl + C
Copy the selected item
Ctrl + X
|Cut the selected item|
Ctrl + V
|Paste the selected item|
Ctrl + Z
|Undo an action|
Ctrl + A
|Select all items in a document or window|
|Display Help for a program or Windows|
Windows logo key
|Display Windows Help and Support|
|Cancel the current task|
|Application key||Open a menu of commands related to a selection in a program. Equivalent to right-clicking the selection.|
Using navigation keysThe navigation keys allow you to move the cursor, move around in documents and webpages, and edit text. The following table lists some common functions of these keys.
|Press this||To do this|
Left Arrow, Right Arrow, Up Arrow, or Down Arrow
Move the cursor or selection one space or line in the direction of the arrow, or scroll a webpage in the direction of the arrow
Move the cursor to the end of a line or move to the top of a webpage
Move the cursor to the end of a line or move to the bottom of a webpage
Ctrl + Home
Move to the top of a document
Ctrl + End
Move to the bottom of a document
|Move the cursor or page up one screen|
|Move the cursor or page down one screen|
|Delete the character after the cursor, or the selected text; in Windows, delete the selected item and move it to the Recycle Bin|
|Turn Insert mode off or on. When Insert mode is on, text that you type is inserted at the cursor. When Insert mode is off, text that you type replaces existing characters.|
Using the numeric keypad
Three odd keys
PrtScn (or Print Screen)
Press Alt + PrtScn to capture an image of just the active window, instead of the entire screen.
ScrLk (or Scroll Lock)
Tips for using your keyboard safely
- Place your keyboard at elbow level. Your upper arms should be relaxed at your sides.
- Center your keyboard in front of you. If your keyboard has a numeric keypad, you can use the spacebar as the centering point.
- Type with your hands and wrists floating above the keyboard, so that you can use your whole arm to reach for distant keys instead of stretching your fingers.
- Avoid resting your palms or wrists on any type of surface while typing. If your keyboard has a palm rest, use it only during breaks from typing.
- While typing, use a light touch and keep your wrists straight.
- When you're not typing, relax your arms and hands.
- Take short breaks from computer use every 15 to 20 minutes.
Article ID: 17073 - Last Review: Aug 31, 2016 - Revision: 40