What are the special keys on the keyboard for?

On your keyboard you will have found a large number of keys, some of which you are perfectly clear about what they are for, but others you do not find the function, practical utility or they are totally a mystery to you. Therefore, we are going to tell you what they consist of and what you can use  Scroll Lock, Print Screen and the special keys for.

What to keep in mind?

First of all, you should keep in mind that the special keys for some are not so special because they are common on all keyboards. However, not all those mentioned appear in them because there are some specific to certain models, such as gaming, designed to facilitate the gaming experience, or others that the manufacturers have decided to remove so as not to sacrifice other more important ones. It must also be borne in mind that there are keyboards in other and specific languages ​​in which some may be missing, or there may be others.

Many of the pushbuttons usually have 104 alphanumeric keys as standard, although the number can vary considerably depending on the specific model, from 101 to 105 in many cases. Gamer models can have several more. Manufacturers select the number trying to remove or add some, since there is no standard that allows us to determine how many there are, what they will be and others, although most of the market models have a similar structure and the same buttons, among which there are no the special keys that we are going to name are usually missing.

What types of keys are there?

Taking into account the ones that you can find on your computer, it is necessary to differentiate the different types of them that exist. Although in many keyboards the organization of these may be similar, in others this organization may vary.

  • Writing (alphanumeric). These with which they include the same letter, number, punctuation and symbol keys that are in a traditional typewriter.
  • Of control. They are used alone or combined with other letters to perform certain actions. The most used are Alt, Crtl, Esc, Win and others.
  • Of function. They are intended to perform certain tasks, although their functionality may change from one program to another. They are F1, F2, F3, F4, F5, F6, F7, F8, F9, F10, F11 and F12.
  • Navigation. They are the ones used to move around documents, websites and edit text. They are Start, End, Up, Down, Insert, Delete, etc.
  • Numeric. It is composed of numbers from 0 to 9 ordered, it also includes addition, subtraction, multiplication, division and the decimal point. Although you will find these numbers elsewhere on the keyboard, something that many make it seem like it is useless, the truth is that its arrangement is very practical to easily insert numerical data or even mathematical operations without using more than one hand. You can use it to do simple calculations with the calculator. This can be blocked, in which case the other functions found in its same buttons can be used. If you want to activate it and write numbers, you have to press Blog Num only once. In some models a light may appear that makes it easier for you to know if it is blocked or activated, although in others it is not.
  • Other keys. Some modern models have hotkeys , which make it easy for you to quickly access files, commands, or programs. Others have scroll wheels, zoom wheels, volume controls, and a host of gadgets as they adapt to the changing needs of computer users. Gaming keyboards often have features to make gaming easier. Therefore, although they are not common in all computers, they are interesting for users who opt for keyboards that incorporate them.

Special keys and their uses

The special keys make it easy for you to perform certain functions that are practical or interesting to you. As each one of them has its specific function, we are going to mention some of the main keys and what are their uses. These are the main buttons that you will find on your computer and that you have probably used more than once.

It should also be noted that in addition to having several functions on the same key, in some cases, these can be combined with others to do more tasks. They can also work differently depending on where you are, so we will tell you in detail so that you know what to do in each of them.


The tab stop is on the left edge of the keyboards, above the caps lock and to the left of the Q. It is shown with two arrows that go in the opposite direction, or with the name Tab. This allows you to move from one object to another, or if you need to move forward 5 characters. This will depend on the task you are doing at the time.

Depending on where the mouse cursor is and the program, it serves many functions. It is generally used to move the cursor or jump between the different fields of the form and certain navigation elements. It is very practical to cover forms.

Shift (Shift)

This is generally found on the left side of the keyboard, under Caps Lock, whereby if you press it at the same time as a letter it will be converted into uppercase. Or it will do the opposite, if the Caps Lock key is on. It is practical if you want to put only one letter in capital letters, and not several at the same time.

If you press a non-corresponding with a letter, you will see that the character that is in the upper part of the specific key is displayed. It is used to enter certain characters in the text that are not the main function, such as $ or *.


You will find it in the lower left part of the keyboard, with the name Ctrl. It is the control. This is commonly used in many shortcuts. Execute commands if you combine it with other keys that vary depending on the window that is active at the time.

Its combination has many uses, for example, with E you select all the elements, with X you cut the element, with + you increase the zoom, with – you decrease it, with F4 or W you close the document or window, with S you save the current state, with W you close the program, in combination with Alt + Del it opens up different options. One of the most frequent is to open the task manager when the computer has locked up, but you can also turn it off or log out with the indicated combination of Ctrl + Alt + Del.

In a word processor it will be very practical, because combined with certain letters it is capable of performing certain functions. Ctrl in combination with C copies a text, with V it pastes the contents of the clipboard, with B it does the search function, with A it opens a document, with R it closes it, with G it saves it, with X it cuts the text, with U it creates a new blank document, with P you open the printing options, with I you go to Go to, with Z you undo the last action, etc. As we can see, it allows a large number of shortcuts that allow us to edit documents, perform functions and more, despite being a key that in itself has no function.

On the other hand, if you keep it pressed you can select several objects at the same time. You will need this, for example, if you want to take several files at the same time and delete them, edit them, move them to another place or other functions, without having to go one by one for the same action.

Num Lock and Caps Lock

If you press Num Lock (lock numbers), the numeric keypad is activated. In this way, you can use these keys, type numbers easily and even do mathematical operations. However, if you press to deactivate it, the arrows and special number keys can be used. Depending on what you want to do, it may be interesting for you to activate or deactivate it.

Caps Lock is a button that if you press only once you can type in capital letters continuously without having to hold it down. You only have to press once to activate it and you will write everything in capital letters until you press it again to deactivate it. It is very practical if you want to write capital letters consecutively.

Print Screen

It can be found at the top of the keyboard, usually next to the F1 through F12 keys, and next to Del on occasion. With this, you will be able to obtain images in full screen. When pressed, or in combination with Ctrl, a screenshot is taken and copied to the clipboard. From there you can paste into programs like Paint and save the image. You can also print it. Remember that if you copy some text later or if you take a screenshot right after without saving it in Paint or similar programs, you will lose the first screenshot.

If you press Alt + Print Screen you will be able to capture the image only of the window that you have active at that moment, instead of doing it of the whole screen as is usual. This will be very practical if you want to take a screenshot of what you are doing at the moment without having to cut it later.


Also called Delete or Delete , it is a button found on most keyboards and used to delete the character that is just in front of or below the cursor. Or if there is a selected text or object, this will be what will erase. If you want to delete one or more files, you just have to select them and hit it. Its main function is to remove something.

Some combinations can be made, such as the famous Ctrl + Alt + Del, which opens a window with various options, including blocking, closing user, switching session or task manager. If your computer crashes, you can use it to go to the administrator and close the program that is causing problems. You can also use Shift + Del to delete a file in Windows without going through the recycle bin, which means that it is permanently deleted.

Other keys

In addition to those mentioned above, which, as we have seen, have many of their own functions or in combination with others, there are others that are worth highlighting for their functions. Surely you have found them on the keyboard, and some of them may not know what it consists of or what you can do with it. So we tell you some others that are worth knowing.

  • Scroll Lock (lock scrolling). It used to be used, just by pressing the up or down arrow key, to move the cursor from one page to another instead of one line to another. Now, the scroll bar has already replaced it, so it is not used much, and there are even some recent apps that do not recognize its functions. In some programs, it changes the behavior of the arrow keys, Page Down and Page Up.
  • Pause / Inter. Pressing it would pause a program, although it is a rarely used feature and works in some older programs. In combination with Ctrl, the program would stop running. In Windows 10, if you have the key and press Win + Pause you can open the system properties.
  • Insert. When Insert mode is active, typed text is inserted at the cursor position, while if disabled this text replaces existing characters. There are two possibilities of typing with them, which are these, that it pushes the text to the right or that it replaces it.
  • Beginning. Allows you to move the cursor to the beginning of a line or to the beginning of a web. with Ctrl + Home you can go to the beginning of the document you are in.
  • End. Allows you to move the cursor to the end of a line or a web. If you press Ctrl + End Go you can go to the end of a specific document.
  • Repag. It is to go back one page. Allows the cursor or page to move up one screen.
  • AVPag. It is to advance one page. Move the cursor or page down one screen.
by Abdullah Sam
I’m a teacher, researcher and writer. I write about study subjects to improve the learning of college and university students. I write top Quality study notes Mostly, Tech, Games, Education, And Solutions/Tips and Tricks. I am a person who helps students to acquire knowledge, competence or virtue.

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