Basic Computing

Learn keyboard keys and their functions with shortcuts

Know the functions of the keyboard and its shortcuts efficiently, the tasks related to any program that we use. From browsing the web page to writing or editing a text, everything is easier if we know its shortcuts. keyboard keys and their functions

Keyboard functions keyboard keys and their functions

keyboard keys and their functions
keyboard keys and their functions

The keyboard is one of the most important data input devices on a computer. Thanks to it, we can communicate with the computer, which transforms the entered data into recognizable models for the outside world. It owes its origin to the writing system used in ancient typewriters.


The first classification of keyboards is based on the number of keys they have:

Basic keyboard keys and their functions

The basic keyboard has 104 traditional keys. It supplanted the previous model, which had 88 keys.

Extended keyboard keys and their functions

Apart from the standard 104, it has additional keys for special functions, defined for use with video games and multimedia applications.

According to their physical form, they can be classified into:


It is the standardized model.


keyboard keys and their functions
keyboard keys and their functions

Due to the layout of the keys, the user works more comfortably. On the other hand, according to the function for which they were designed, there are the following types of keyboards:

Multimedia keyboard keys and their functions

In addition to the traditional keys, they have extra keys to facilitate access to multimedia-type programs, related to music, video, internet, among others.

Gamer (Gaming)

Specially designed to fulfill specific functions in video game applications. They generally contain reprogrammable keys.

Finally, the following types of keyboards should also be mentioned:


Due to the material with which they are made, they are portable and can be washed.

Wireless keyboard keys and their functions

They do not require physical connection to the computer, that is, they do not have connection cables.

On-screen keyboard

They are simulated keyboards on the screens of both computers and current mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets. That is, they are virtual.

Due to the presence of keyboards in laptops, it should be noted that in them the keys are arranged closer to each other. In addition, they bring together the function keys into one, which when combined with other keys produces the same actions as in a normal computer, depending on the functions of the keyboard.

Keys types

The keyboard functions we comment that this tool has a set of keys, which are connected to the microprocessor. In general, according to their function, five types can be distinguished:

Of writing

Also known as alphanumeric keys, they contain the set of characters, including numbers, letters, punctuation marks, and accents, required to transfer data to the computer. These types of keys are usually arranged in Qwerty mode, coinciding with traditional typewriters.


Made up of the numbers from 0 to 9, plus additional keys for arithmetic operations. Its distribution is identical to that of any calculator or adding machine.

Of function

In keyboard functions, they are keys defined to fulfill specific commands. Its programming depends on the operating system or program under which you are working. They range from the F1 key to the F12.

Of control

The control keys allow you to move the cursor in different directions, thus facilitating on-screen editing. Combined with other keys, they serve to execute different commands. The main keys of this type are: Alt, Ctrl, Shift, etc.


They perform specific functions within web page navigation and text editing.

Keyboard layouts

It is important to note that, although all keyboards have the same types of keys, the way they are arranged may vary, giving rise to the following distributions:

  • Dvorak
  • Qwertz
  • Azerty

Of these, the most frequently used keyboard is the Qwerty, named for the position in which these letters appear on it. In turn, among the different keyboards of this type, those of Latin American distribution and those of Spanish arrangement stand out.

Latin American keyboard and Spanish keyboard

The main similarity between these two keyboards is the presence of the letter Ñ, of great value for both languages. However, it presents marked differences, regarding the location of the characters: @, /, ¬, ~, ^, `, {,}, [,], ¨, | Y #.

Computer keyboard functions

As we have seen, through the keyboard we can write texts, perform mathematical calculations, control the equipment, etc. Based on that, now we will see what are the main functions of the keyboard according to its use.

Of writing

Every time we write texts, a flashing vertical cursor or bar appears on the screen in order to show us where we are going to start writing. After having several words written, we can move said cursor by means of the navigation keys.

Apart from the alphanumeric characters present on the writing keys, these also include the following, which also constitute control keys:

  • Shift: In combination with any letter, it goes from lowercase to uppercase. When combined with the rest of the other typing keys, the symbols that appear on top of them are generated.
  • Caps Lock: When we press this key once, we activate uppercase writing for all letters below. It is deactivated when pressed again.
  • Tab: Used to move the cursor several spaces to the right.
  • Enter: Allows you to go to the beginning of the next line of writing.
  • Space bar: Move the cursor one space to the right.
  • Backspace: Used to delete the letter or character in front of the cursor.


In general, due to the arrangement of these types of keys, numbers can be entered more quickly within the text.

If we only want to type the numbers and signs present in this section of the keyboard, just press the Num Lock key once. Under this function, we can perform basic arithmetic operations.

If, on the other hand, it is deactivated, the numeric keys can be used as navigation keys.

Of function

As we already mentioned, they are keys programmed to execute specific tasks. These are:

  • F1: It is used to open the help window of the program or application in which we are working.
  • F2: Used to rename a selected file.
  • F3: In most programs, it is used to open the search menu.
  • F4: It is used to close a program, if it is combined with the Alt key. On the other hand, if we surf the Internet, it allows us to display the address bar and see the history of visited pages.
  • F5: Its general use is to update the screen.
  • F6: Allows movement between the different menus of a program or application.
  • F7: If we are in Firefox, it is used to move the cursor freely.
  • F8: When we press this key as soon as we turn on the computer, we enter safe mode.
  • F10: In almost all programs, it is used to go to the navigation bar.
  • F11: Used to make the browser window as large as possible.

Of control

It can be said, in the keyboard functions, that they are the keys whose combination generates the greatest number of functions. Some of them are also considered as navigation keys. Its main uses are:

  • Shift: Allows you to write one or more letters in uppercase.
  • Caps Lock: When you press this key, you can write a whole group of uppercase letters.
  • Alt: Used to access the menus of any program. However, when combined with other keys, it allows you to perform various additional functions.
  • Ctrl: It is very useful when combined with other keys. Its various functions depend on the program in which we are.
  • Tab: It is used to separate between words according to a specific distance.
  • Esc: It is used to stop an action.
  • Delete: Used to delete the next character after the cursor location. In some programs it is used to delete selected objects or files.
  • Insert: Allows you to switch between two text input modes: insert or overwrite. It depends on the activation of the function and the location of the cursor.
  • Home: Its main use is to bring the cursor to the beginning of a line. In some programs, this key redirects the cursor to the beginning of the document.
  • Space bar: Used to separate two words with a space.
  • Enter: Used to automatically go to the next line of text.
  • Windows key: It is used to make the start menu of a program appear.
  • Print Screen: Capture an image of the screen.
  • Scroll Lock: Changes the behavior of the arrow keys and the Page UP and Page Down keys.
  • Pause / Inter: It is of little use, but it works to pause the program.


Some of the most common functions of the navigation keys are:

  • Direction arrows: Depending on the direction of the selected arrow, we can move the cursor one space or one line up, down, left or right. It works the same way for browsing web pages.
  • Home: Used to move the cursor to the beginning of a line or a web page.
  • End: It is used to move the cursor to the end of a line. Its use is the same when browsing web pages.
  • Page up: With this key we raise the cursor or the page one screen.
  • Page Down: Move the cursor or page down one screen.
  • Delete: Used to delete the selected text, or the word, located behind the cursor.
  • Insert: Allows you to insert a text at the cursor position. When this key is disabled the text replaces the characters that are already written.

Keyboard functions in Word

Word is one of the programs that offers the greatest variety of functions by combining the different keys. Next, we will see the main commands or shortcuts that it presents:

Ctrl + A: Open an existing document.

Crl + B: Search for a word.

Ctrl + C: Copy.

Crl + D: Move the text to the right side of the page.

Ctrl + E: Select all.

Ctrl + F: Open the help menu.

Ctrl + G: Save an action.

Ctrl + H: Apply tab stop.

Ctrl + I: Apply italics.

Ctrl + J: Justify.

Ctrl + N: Highlight in bold.

Ctrl + P: Print.

Ctrl + R: Close.

Ctrl + S: Underline.

Ctrl + T: Center the titles.

Ctrl + U:. Open a new document.

Ctrl + V: Paste.

Ctrl + W: Close the window.

Ctrl + X: Cut.

Ctrl + Y: Redo.

Ctrl + Z: Undo.

Ctrl + F1: Open or close the drop-down menu of a text.

Ctrl + F2: Go to the Print menu.

Ctrl + F3: Cut and paste in special format.

Ctrl + F4: Close the active document.

Ctrl + F6: Go to the next window.

Ctrl + F9: Insert an empty field.

Ctrl + F10: Increase the size of the window to the maximum.

Ctrl + F12: Go to the Open menu.

Ctrl + Shift: Create a shortcut after selecting an item.

Ctrl + Right Arrow: Move the cursor to the start of the next word.

Ctrl + Left Arrow: Move the cursor to the beginning of the previous word.

Ctrl + Down Arrow: Move the cursor to the beginning of the next paragraph.

Ctrl + Up Arrow: Move the cursor to the beginning of the previous paragraph.

Ctrl + Shift + Direction arrows: Highlight part of selected text.

Ctrl + Esc: Go to the start menu.

Ctrl + Home: Quickly go to the beginning of a document.

Ctrl + End: Go to the end of a document.

Ctrl + Pause / Inter: Stop the execution of a program.

Shift + Del: Permanently delete a selected item.

Shift + Directional arrows: Select part of text in a document.

Shift + 1: Open options for displaying formats.

Shift + 2: Copy text.

Shift + 3: Toggle between first capital letter, all uppercase word, and all lowercase word.

Shift + 4: Repeat the word search.

Shift + 5: View the last changes made.

Shift + 6: Go to the previous panel.

Shift + 7: Open the window to search for synonyms.

Shift + 8: Reduce the size of a selected text.

Shift + 9: Go from a field code to its result.

Shift + F10: Show the individual menu of the selected item.

Shift + 11: Go to the previous field.

Shift + 12: Open the Save As menu.

Windows key: Show or hide the start menu.

Windows key + U: Open Ease of Access Center.

Alt + A: Open the m, enu File from the main menu.

Alt + G: Open the design tab.

Alt + O: Open the home tab.

Alt + B: Go to the Insert tab.

Alt + R: Open the Review tab.

Alt + F1: Go to the next field.

Alt + F3: Start a new building block.

Alt + F4: Exit the program.

Alt + F5: Return to the original size of the window.

Alt + F6: Leave the dialog and return to the document.

Alt + F7: Display the next spelling or grammar error.

Alt + F8: Go to the Macro dialog box.

Alt + F9: Toggle between field codes and their results.

Alt + F10: Open the selection panel.

Alt + F11: Create a window with Visual Basic code.

Alt + Print Screen: It is used to take an image capture only of the active window.

Alt + Enter: Go to the properties of a selected element.

Alt + Spacebar: Open the menu of the open window.

Alt + Tab: Switch between open themes.

Alt + Esc: Close the articles in the order in which they were opened.

Alt + Letter selected in a menu: Show the menu corresponding to the selected name.

Alt + Shift + F1: Go to the previous field.

Alt + Shift + F10: Display a menu or available action message.

Alt + 65 to Alt + 90: Capitalize each letter.

Alt + 97 to Alt + 122: Write each letter in lowercase.

It is important to note in keyboard functions that when you combine the Alt key with any number key, you always get some response. keyboard keys and their functions

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