Topic 7: Keyboard – Types of Keys

DigitalG1 Keyboard

The keyboard is the most commonly used input device. There are many types of wired and wireless keyboards available in the market. As its name, it consists of many keys or buttons on a board. Alphabets, numbers, symbols, etc. are printed on these keys. By pressing these keys, text or instructions are inputted into the computer. Although, the number of keys can vary in different keyboards, yet when it comes to a simple keyboard, it comes in two different sizes – with and without a numeric keypad. Keyboards without a numeric keypad have 83, 84, or 86 keys, while keyboards with a numeric keypad have 101, 102, 104, or 108 keys. These buttons are classified into six categories.

1. Typing Keys or Alphanumeric Keys

DigitalG1 Keyboard Alphanumeric Keys
Keyboard - Alphanumeric Keys

Typing keys are commonly used to input text. These include alphabets, numbers, all kinds of symbols, and punctuation marks. On the keyboard, alphabet keys are placed in a special arrangement called QWERTY. This arrangement is very useful in inputting text with both hands.

2. Numeric Keypad or Number Keypad

DigitalG1 Keyboard Numeric Keypad
Keyboard - Numeric Keypad

The numeric keypad is placed to the right of the keyboard. It has an extra set of simple mathematical operators and number keys. These keys are arranged in a block like a simple calculator. It is used to input numbers and to perform calculations quickly.

3. Control Keys

DigitalG1 Keyboard Control Keys
Keyboard - Control Keys

Control keys are some special keys that are used alone or with other keys. With their help, some special tasks can be performed quickly. Therefore, their key combinations are also called shortcut keys. Ctrl, Alt, Window, and Esc keys are the most commonly used control keys.

4. Function Keys

DigitalG1 Keyboard Function Keys
Keyboard - Function Keys

The keyboard has 12 function keys from F1 to F12. These keys are placed above typing keys. The F1 key is generally used as a shortcut for help. The rest of the keys are also used as shortcuts for special tasks. Their work is different in every software program.

5. Navigation Keys

DigitalG1 Keyboard Navigation Keys
Keyboard - Navigation Keys

Navigation keys are used to move the cursor up, down, right, or left during text editing. Apart from this, arrow keys are also used to play games. The set of navigation keys has Home, End, Insert, Delete, Page Up, Page Down, and arrow keys.

6. Multimedia Keys

DigitalG1 Keyboard Multimedia Keys
Keyboard - Multimedia Keys

Apart from all these keys, many keyboards also have some special keys. These keys are used to control volume, change track, etc. while playing multimedia. Such keyboards are called multimedia keyboards.

Besides, some special keyboards are also available in the market. These keyboards may have programmable buttons, backlight, touchpad, trackball, pointing stick, or small display.

Author – Aditya Saini

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