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Explanation of the Keys on a Windows QWERTY Keyboard Q W E R T Y
"The name "QWERTY" for our computer keyboard comes from the first six
letters in the top alphabet row (the one just below the numbers). It is also
referred to as the "Universal" keyboard. It was the work of inventor C. L.
Sholes, who put together the prototypes of the first commercial typewriter
in a Milwaukee machine shop back in the 1860's."
Esc
Equivalent to clicking the Cancel button. In PowerPoint the Esc key will
stop a running slide show. On a web page with animations, the Esc key
will stop the animations. On a web page that is loading, the Esc key will
stop the page from loading. The keyboard combination Ctrl + Esc will open
the Start Menu.
F1
While working in an application, depressing this key will bring up the
applications help menu. If there is no open application F1 will open
Windows Help.
F2
Choose this key to rename a selected item or object.
F3
Depressing this key will display the Find: All Files dialog box.
F4
Selects the Go To A Different Folder box and moves down the entries in
the box (if the toolbar is active in Windows Explorer)
F5
Refreshes the current window. In Internet Explorer, F5 will Refresh the
web page.
F6
Moves among panes in Windows Explorer.
F7
F8
F9
F10
Activates menu bar options. Use right and left arrows to select menus and
down arrows to display pull down menus.
F11
In Internet Explorer this key will allow you to toggle between full screen
viewing mode and normal viewing mode.
F12
Print Screen/SysRq
Usually located at the upper right hand corner of your keyboard next to
the Scroll Lock and Pause/Break keys. Often abbreviated PrtScr, the
Print Screen key is a useful key supported on most PCs. In DOS,
pressing the Print Screen key causes the computer to send whatever
images and text are currently on the display screen to the printer. Some
graphics programs and Windows, use the Print Screen key to obtain
Screen Captures.
Tab
This key can be used to move forward through options in a dialog box.
Ctrl + Shift + Tab can be used to move backward through the options.
Ctrl + Tab allows movement from one open window to the next in an
application with more than one open window.
Alt + Tab displays a list of open application windows. Keeping Alt
depressed and selecting Tab cycles through the list. Releasing selects the
highlighted application window.
Caps Lock
Locks the keyboard in "Capitals" mode (only applies to Alpha keys). The
Caps Lock key should be used with caution. Using ALL CAPS is a usability
no-no as many have difficulty scanning text that is ALL CAPS. Also, when
sending email in ALL CAPS, THIS COULD BE MISCONSTRUED AS
SHOUTING AT SOMEONE.
Shift
The obvious use of this key is to allow selection of capital letters when
depressing the alphabet characters, or selecting the characters above
other non-alpha keys.
Depressing the Shift key while inserting a CD-ROM will bypass auto play.
Shift + Delete to permanently delete a selected item, bypasses the
Recycle Bin.
Return to Keyboard
Control Key
Ctrl
Depressing the Ctrl key while clicking allows multiple selections. Holding
the Ctrl key down and pressing other key combinations will initiate quite a
few actions. Some of the more common ones are listed below.
Ctrl + A
Select All items
Ctrl + B
Add or remove Bold formatting
Ctrl + C
Copy, places the selected/highlighted copy on the clipboard.
Ctrl + C + C
Opens the clipboard.
Ctrl + F
Opens the Find what: dialog box. Great for finding references on a web
page while using your favorite web browser.
Ctrl + H
Replace, brings up the Find and Replace dialog box. Great for global
find and replace routines while working in normal and html views in your
favorite WYSIWYG editors like FrontPage. You can also use this to find and
replace content within your Word Documents, Excel Spreadsheets, etc...
Ctrl + I
Add or remove Italic formatting.
Ctrl + N
Window, In Internet Explorer, opens a New Window. In Outlook, opens
a New Mail Message. In most publishing programs like Word, opens a
New Document.
Ctrl + O
Open, brings up a browse dialog and allows you to select a file to open.
Ctrl + P
Print
Ctrl + S
Save
Ctrl + U
Add or remove Underline formatting.
Ctrl + V
Paste, inserts the copy on the clipboard into the area where your flashing
cursor is positioned or the area you have selected/highlighted.
Ctrl + W
Close, will close the document currently open.
Ctrl + X
Cut, removes the selected/highlighted copy and places it on the
clipboard.
Ctrl + Y
Redo last command. Many software programs offer multiple Redo's by
pressing Ctrl + Y + Y + Y...
Ctrl + Z
Undo last command. Many software programs offer multiple Undo's by
pressing Ctrl + Z + Z + Z...
Ctrl + Esc
Open the Start menu (or use the Windows Key if you have one).
Ctrl + =
Spell checker (pre WinXP).
Ctrl
While dragging a file to copy the file.
Ctrl + Shift
While dragging a file to create a shortcut.
Ctrl + Tab
Allows movement (toggle) from one open window to the next in an
application with more than one open window.
Ctrl + F4
Close a window in an application without closing the application.
Ctrl + F5
In Internet Explorer, Ctrl + F5 will Refresh the web page bypassing cache
(all images and external file references will be reloaded).
Windows Key
Windows Key
On either side of the spacebar, outside the Alt key, is a key with the
Windows logo. Holding the Windows key down and pressing another key
will initiate quite a few actions. Some of the more common are listed
below.
Displays the Start Menu.
+ D
Minimizes all windows and shows the Desktop.
+ D
Opens all windows and takes you right back to where you were.
+ E
Opens a new Explorer Window. Probably one of the hottest Windows
keyboard shortcuts. This one gets a lot of hoorahs!
+ F
Displays the Find all files dialog box.
+ L
Lock your Windows XP computer. Logoff in Windows Pre-XP.
+ M
Minimizes all open windows.
+ Shift + M
Restores all previously open windows to how they were before you
Minimized them.
+ R
Displays the Run command.
+ F1
Displays the Windows Help menu.
+ Pause/Break
Displays the Systems Properties dialog box.
+ Tab
Cycle through the buttons on the Task Bar.
Alt
Alt
Located on either side of the space bar. Holding the Alt key down and
pressing another key will initiate various actions. Some of the more
common ones are listed below:
Alt + F4
Closes the current active window. If there is no active window this opens
the Shut Down dialog box.
Alt + underlined letter in menu
To carry out the corresponding command on the menu.
Alt + left/right arrows
In a browser moves forward or back through the pages visited in a
window.
Alt + Space Bar
Displays the current window's system menu. This is the same as left
clicking on the application icon at the top left of the window.
Alt + Enter
Displays a selected items properties. This can also be done with Alt +
double-click.
Alt + PrtScn
Captures the top window of the active application.
Alt + Space Bar
Displays the main window's system menu. This is the same as clicking on
the application icon at the left end of the title bar.
Alt + Space Bar + C
After the system menu is displayed (see above), this combination will
close a window. This works the same way as Alt + F4 but requires less
stretch.
Alt + - (hyphen)
Displays the current window's system menu. This is the same as left
clicking on the application icon at the top left of the window.
Alt + Tab
Displays a list of open application windows. Keeping Alt depressed and
selecting Tab cycles through the list. Releasing selects the highlighted
application window.
Alt Ctrl
The Application key has an image of a mouse pointer on a menu (between
the Alt and Ctrl keys ( ) to the right of your Space Bar). Depressing this
key will display the selected item's shortcut window. This is the menu that
is displayed by right-clicking.
Space Bar
Insert a space between words. It is suggested that you utilize Tabs (or
other formatting commands) to put distance between elements. Using the
space bar to insert visual space works but would not be considered a best
practice in page design. Double spaces between sentences are no longer
required. This is a carryover from the days of fixed width fonts on a
typewriter such as Courier, Orator, Prestige Elite, etc.
Pressing the Space Bar while viewing a web page in Internet Explorer will
scroll the page downwards. Shift + Space Bar will scroll the page upwards.
Return to Keyboard
Enter
Creates a new Paragraph <p> ( ) or what is referred to as a Hard
Return. In any dialog box a selected button or command can be selected
by depressing this key. Selected buttons can be recognized by their darker
(dotted) borders, or what is referred to as Focus.
Shift + Enter
Creates a new Line Break <br> ( ) or what is referred to as a Soft
Return.
Shift + Arrow
Shift + Arrow Up, Down, Left or Right. Position your cursor at the
beginning of the area you wish to highlight for copying. Now use the up,
down, left or right arrow keys to select areas of content to be
highlighted, copied, pasted, etc.
Backspace
While working with text, use this key to delete characters to the left of the
insertion point.
Insert
Home
Depress and hold the Ctrl key as you select Home to go to the first line of
a document.
Page Up
In a browser window use the Page Up key to move up one full screen on a
web page.
Delete
While working with text, use this key to delete characters to the right of
the insertion point. This key can also be used to delete selected files. If
you use the keyboard combination Shift + Delete the item is permanently
deleted, bypassing the Recycle Bin.
End
Depress and hold the Ctrl key as you select End to go to the last line of a
document.
Page Down
In a browser window use the Page Down key to move down one full screen
on a web page.
Up Arrow
Navigate in a document to the line above. Hold the Ctrl key down as you
press this key to move to the beginning of the second line above.
Right Arrow
Navigate in a document one character to the right. Hold the Ctrl key down
as you press this key to move one word to the right.
Down Arrow
Navigate in a document to the line below. Hold the Ctrl key down as you
press this key to move to the beginning of the second line below.
Left Arrow
Navigate in a document one character to the left. Hold the Ctrl key down
as you press this key to move one word to the left.
Keypad Keys
Num Lock
If you want to use the numeric keypad on the right end of the keyboard to
display numbers, the Num Lock key must be selected (usually a light
above the Num Lock will indicate that it is on). If you want to use the
keypad to navigate within a document, turn off Num Lock by pressing the
key (the light will go off).
* (Asterisk)
In Windows Explorer this expands everything under the current selection.
Caution: do not try this with the C Drive icon selected.
- (Minus Sign)
In Windows Explorer this collapses the current selection.
+ (Plus Sign)
In Windows Explorer this expands the current selection.