The Keyboard


The keyboard, along with the mouse, is an important hardware input device. Keyboards allow you to input information by typing letters and numbers and by using other special function keys. There are many different styles of keyboards available but most are very similar to each other.

The most standard part of the layout of almost all English keyboards is how the letter keys are arranged. This layout is called ‘QWERTY’. The funny thing is that this is just about the worst possible layout of keys – so if you have trouble finding keys you’re not alone. The original layout was designed to slow typists down so the keys on their manual typewriters wouldn’t get jammed.

There are usually two sets of numbers on a keyboard. One is above the letters and the other is on the right side and arranged like a calculator.

The computer views these numbers as being the same as they generate the same codes. So you can use whichever of the number keys you want. Typists usually prefer the ones above the letters, while accountants often prefer the ones at the side.

The key on the right of the letters, that signals that you’ve finished typing something, is usually called the RETURN key because a similar key on a typewriter was called a ‘carriage return’. However, on a computer this key is usually called the ENTER key.

Next: Keyboard Shortcuts