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The Basic PC Keyboard Layout

PC keyboards are anything but standard. Customized keyboards, with special buttons and features, seem to be the rule, not the exception. Still, the basic PC keyboard layout has 104 keys common to all PC keyboards.

There are four main areas on your PC’s keyboard (as shown in this figure):

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  • Function keys: These keys are positioned on the top row of the keyboard. They’re labeled F1, F2, F3, and on up to F11 and F12.

  • Typewriter keys: These keys are the same types of keys you find on an old typewriter: letters, numbers, and punctuation symbols.

  • Cursor-control keys: Often called arrow keys, these four keys move the text cursor in the direction of their arrows. Above them are more cursor-control keys — the six-pack of Insert, Delete, Home, End, Page Up, and Page Down.

  • Numeric keypad: Popular with accountants, bank tellers, and airline ticket agents, the numeric keypad contains calculator-like keys.

    This keypad also doubles as a cursor keypad; the Num Lock key determines its behavior.

In addition to the basic keyboard layout, your PC's keyboard may have even more buttons, or it may be ergonomically designed, or whatever.

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