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Some Useful PC Keyboard Keys

Your computer keyboard is a virtual playground of buttons — some famous keys, some familiar keys, and some mysterious keys. Here's a list of some of the most important keyboard keys (beyond the typewriter-style letter keys):

  • Enter: The keyboard’s most popular key. It's so popular that there are two Enter keys on the keyboard, one by the typewriter keys and the second by the numeric keypad. Both Enter keys work identically; you can use either one.

    Specifically, you press Enter to end a paragraph in a word processor, but in Windows, pressing the Enter key is also the same as clicking the OK button in a dialog box.

  • Esc: The one key that says “Hey! Stop it!” to Windows is the Escape key, labeled Esc on your keyboard. Pressing the Esc key is the same as clicking Cancel in a dialog box.

  • /: The forward slash key. It’s used as a separator and also to denote division, such as 52/13 (52 divided by 13). It’s also used as a separator in Web page and other Internet addresses. Don’t confuse it with the backslash key. You’ll find the forward slash key on the same button as the question mark.

  • \: The backslash leans to the left. This character is used in pathnames.

  • Tab: Used in two different ways on your computer, neither of which generates a diet cola beverage. In a word processor, you use the Tab key to indent paragraphs or line up text. In a dialog box, you use the Tab key to move between the various graphical gizmos.

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