"Understanding the Standard Computer Keyboard Layout"

If you are a new computer user, you may need to know the overall standard computer keyboard layout. Do you know that the standard PC keyboard contains 101 or 104 buttons?

Then, what are the function of each button and how to use it?

This article makes sure you know the computer keyboard, get you familiar with and the correct way to press keyboard shortcuts.

First, let see the standard 104-key computer keyboard layout:

Standard Keyboard

Here is the break down for a standard PC keyboard that contains 101 or 104 keys:

  • 26 letter keys from [A to Z] for entering text.
  • Two sets of keys for the single-digit numbers [0 through 9]. One set appearing as a row above the letter keys and one set on the numeric keypad.
  • 12 function keys, numbered [F1 to F12], for invoking functionality built into the operating system and into applications.
  • 15 to 18 keys for mainstream punctuation symbols (comma, period, and semicolon, etc) and other symbols (+ and ~, etc). The numeric keypad typically includes symbols used for basic mathematical operations (+ for addition, - for subtraction, / for division, and * for multiplication) and a period for a decimal place.
  • A [Spacebar] to put spaces between characters.
  • An [Esc] key for canceling an action or "clicking" the Cancel button in a dialog box.
  • A [Tab] key for entering tabs.
  • A [CapsLock] key to lock the letter keys in the capital position.
  • Two [Shift] keys to change the case of the key pressed.
  • Six other modifier keys: two [Ctrl] keys, two [Alt] keys, and two [Windows] buttons.
  • A [Context menu] key (or shortcut menu key) for displaying the context menu or shortcut menu. Same like mouse right-click function.
  • Two [Enter] keys for entering carriage returns and "clicking" the selected button in dialog boxes.
  • A [Backspace] key for deleting the character before the insertion point.
  • An [Insert] key for toggling Insert mode.
  • A [Delete] key for deleting the selection or the character after the insertion point.
  • 8 or more navigation keys: 4 arrow keys (→,←,↓, and ↑), a [Home] key for moving to the beginning of an item, an [End] key for moving to the end of an item, a [PageUp] key for moving up by a page, and a [PageDown] key for moving down by a page.
  • A [PrintScreen/SysRq] key for capturing what appears on existing screen.
  • A [ScrollLock] key that toggles the locking on the scrolling function.
  • A [Pause/Break] key for pausing the current loading (especially working in Dos environment).
  • A [NumLock] key for locking on the numeric keypad.

As you know the computer keyboard layout, you also needs to know how to use the computer keyboard shortcuts to help your perform certain tasks. For example, Ctrl + A means pressing the Ctrl key follow by A (at the same time).

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