Parts Of A Computer Keyboard And Their Functions And Uses

Table Of Contents

1. Introduction
2. Parts Of A Computer Keyboard
3. Uses Of Different Parts Of The Computer Keyboard


Earlier, we discussed that data of all types- alphabetic, numeric and alphanumeric data can be entered or keyed into the using the keyboard as an input device.

It then means that the computer keyboard consists of different parts which enable effective and adequate data entry; just as human beings have various part like the eye, nose, mouth, ear, etc, that enable it functiom well.

In this section, we will be looking at the various parts of a computer keyboard.

Parts Of A Computer Keyboard

Though computer keyboard comes in several types and variations, the basic elements are the same in all keyboards. The parts of a typical computer keyboard includes:

* Function keys.
* Typewriter Keys.
* Cursor- Control Keys(Navigation key)
* Numeric Keys
* Special keys( computer Keys).

Function Keys:

Most computer keyboards come with function keys ranging from F1-F10 ( standard keyboard). Some funtion key s are f1-F12(enhanced keyboard). These function keys are positioned on the top row of the keyboard. They are labbled F1, F2, F3, F4 and F12 for modern enhanced keyboard.

Typewriter Keys:

These keys are the same type of keys you find in an old typewriter. They consist of letters of the alphabet A,B,C,D and up to XYZ.
Special Characters: examples of special character are !, @, #, $, %, & etc.

Cursor-Control Keys:

Cursor- control keys are often called navigatoinal or arrow jeys. These four keys move the text cursor in the direction of their arrows. Above them are cursor- control keysk the six pack of, inser, delete, home, end, page up and page down.

Numeric Keys:

Popular With accountannts, bank tellers and line ticket agaents, the numeric keypad contains calculation- like keys. This keypad also doubles as a cursor keypad. The Num lock keys determine its behaviour.

Special Keys:

some of the special computeer keys seen in a compuer keyboard are “CTRL”, ALT”, “WINDOW”, “SHIFT”, “TAB”, “ESC” jeys. These keys are specially designed for special purpose.

Uses Of Different Parts Of The Computer Keyboard

1. Function Keys:

The Function Keys are keys designated F1 to F12. Ther are called function keys because each performs Specific functions in different programs. They can also be used in combination with other keys.


Almost always used as the help key. Almost every program opens a help screen when this key is pressed. To enter CMOS setup. Windows Key +F1 would open the microsoft windows help and support centre. Opens the Task Plane.


In windows Renames a highlighted icon, file, or folder in all versions of windows.

Alt + Ctrl + F2 opens document window in Microsoft Word.

Ctrl + F2 displays the print preview window in Microsoft Word. Quickly renames a selected file or folder, To enter CMOS Setup.


Often opens a search feature for many programs including microsoft Windows when at rhe windows Desktop. In MS-DOS or Windows command line F3 will repeat the last command.

Shift + F3 will change the text in microsoft word from upper to lower case or a capital letter at the beginning of every word.
Windows Keys + F3 opens the advanced find window in microsoft outlook.


Opens find Windows 95 to XP.
Opens the address bar in Windows Explorer and internet Explorer.
Repeat last action performed( word 2000+) Alt, + F4 closes the program window currently active in Microsoft windows. Ctrl + F4 closes the open Windows within the current active window in Microsoft Windows.


In all modern internet browser pressing F5 will refresh or relaod the page or document Window. Opens the find, replace and go-to window in Microsoft Word. Start a slideshow in power point


Moves the cursor to the Address bar in Internet Explorer, Mozilla FireFox, and, most other internet browsers. Ctrl + Shift +F6 opens to another open microsoft word document.


Commonly used to spell check and grammar check a document in Microsoft programs such as Microsoft words, outlook, etc.
Shift + F7 runs a thesaurus check on the word highlighted. Turns on Caret browsing in Mozilla Firefox


Used to enter the windows startup menu, commonly used to access Wisdows Safe Mode.


Refreshes documents in microsoft word. Send and receives e-mail in microsoft outlook


In microsoft winsows activates the menu bar of an open application.
Shift+ F10 is the same as right-clicking on a highlighted icon, file, or internet link. To enter CMOS setup.


Activates Full-screen mode in all modern internet browsers. Ctrl + F11 as computer is starting to access the hidden recovery partition on many dell companys.


Opens the save As window in microsoft word. Ctrl + F12 will save the document in word( like Ctrl + S). Shift + F12 save the microsoft word document.
Ctrl + shift + F12 print a document in Microsoft Word.

2. Alphanumeric Keys or Typewriter Keys

These keys are numbers, alphabets and special character (symbols). Numbers are 0 to 9. Alphabets are 4 to Z. Examples of special characters ( symbols) are @, #, $,%,^,&.

3. Numeric Keypad Or Calculator Keys

these are found on the right side end of the keyboard and are used for data entry and calculation.

4. Modifiers Keys:

These jeys are the Ctrl( Control), alt ( Alternate) and shift key. They are not used alone but in combination with ome or more keys.


CTRL+ ALT + DEL restarts the computer ALT + F4 Closes a window and displays dialog box for system shutdown, switch user, log off, restart, sleep or standby (hibernate).

CTRL + S saves a document in Microsoft Word.

5. Curson Control Keys:

These are keys that control the movewment of the cursor. Examples:

Arrow Keys- the arrow keys move the cursor in four directions, namely left, right, up and down.

Page up and page down keys-move a page up and down respectively.

Home key-moves the cursor or text a predetermined distance.

Space bar key- move the cursor one space

Enter( return) key-tells the computer to carry out an operation. Also moves the cursor to the beginning of a new line.

Delete key-moves the cursor froward and deletes characters on its way.

Backspace key- moves the cursor backward and erases characters on its way.

ESC key- terminates the current task.

6. Other Keys >>>

Insert Key: Primarily used to switch between the two text- entering modes on a personal computer (PC) or word processor. The first is over type mode, in which the cursor, when typing, overwrites any text that is present in the current location.

The other is insert mode, where the cursor inserts a character at it current position, forcing all characters past it one position further.

Caps lock key- this key when pressed makes letters to appear in upper case (capitals).

Num Lock Key – this key when pressed activates the number mode of the numeric key pad.

Prt Sc (print screen): This key is used to print to content of the current window. In laptops it is used in conjunction with the Fn Key.

Fn-Key Fn, short for function, is a modifier key on many keyboards, especially on laptops, used in a compact kept separate. It is typically found on laptops due to their keyboard size restrictions.

Scroll Lock Key: The scroll lock key is intended to temporarily stop the scrolling of text or halt the operation of a program. In microsoft Excel when scroll lock is enabled on the keyboard pressing any of the arrow keys moves the screen in that direction but the selected cell will not change.

Windows Key: Activate the start up menu