What is the SHIFT key and what is it used for?

In this article we will talk about the SHIFT key also called uppercase and what it is used for, as well as unknown or “secret” utilities.

The keyboard of a computer will be one of these elements that is most important, because without it, we will be able to interact little and be able to take advantage of all the functions of our equipment.

This is made up of different keys and buttons that cover a wide range of possibilities, both for writing and for specific uses to speed up its use, including execution of functions, instructions or commands as a direct access with a combination of keys.

Such is the case of the SHIFT key , which owes its origin to typewriters where it was used very frequently. As computer keyboards evolved, this key remained, even continuing the main function it had then.

Thus, the SHIFT key is one of those that is highly relevant, since its use is habitual and continuous, which suggests that it should be known by everyone, especially for those who work in technology on a daily basis.

Where is the SHIFT key located?

In this article we talk about:

Most of the parts of a keyboard are located in a certain space that is usually maintained in a large part of their models, regardless of the brand or company behind their manufacture.

This is so in order to facilitate writing and efficient handling of this computer peripheral.

Although keyboards may have some differences in the position or layout of some buttons, this generally occurs on keyboards of different languages ​​or sizes .

The SHIFT key , on the other hand, has the peculiarity of being a button that remains fixed regardless of the origin, the language or the purpose of that keyboard. What positions it as one of the keys of relevance in this sense

The SHIFT key can also be represented on the keyboard as an up arrow

These can easily be located at the ends of the second row (bottom to top) of the keyboard, i.e. below the “Caps Lock” key, as well as below the “Enter” key.

This position at opposite ends facilitates its use, since it can be used either with the right or left hand when entering a letter.

This key is also usually represented by an up arrow , although it is common to find it with the name by which “SHIFT” is known on the button.

What is the SHIFT key for?

This is mainly a writing key , since its main function known to all is to enter capital letters. That is, if it is configured to write in lowercase, pressing SHIFT at the same time as any letter will display it in uppercase .

But we also have another such as changing the size of letters or inserting a third character when combining the CTRL + SHIFT key and the key.

However, it is possible to find different or unknown uses for this key , which provide great versatility to it.

Keyboard in Spanish, the special characters are in a specific location.

In addition to favoring the use of lower and upper case letters on a text, the SHIFT key allows you to write the different symbols found on the buttons with 2 or more possibilities to insert characters , being the one that can be inserted the one of the keys that have a third which is on the right.

  • The numbers that are positioned above the letters.
  • The keys with punctuation marks, which can have up to 3 different signs.

Keyboard in other languages, the special characters are in different locations depending on the language.

Even this key allows to facilitate the shading of a part of a text for later modification, adding or subtracting selected lines of text with just one button.

Other functions of the shift key

The SHIFT , apart from the most used employment options, it has specific utilities when combined with other keys .

  • An example of this is the ability to zoom when pressed next to the scroll (the wheel that sits between mouse clicks).
  • That of inverting the selection order once you have the windows open when we have pressed the ALT + TAB keys and they open. Then pressing ALT + SHIFT + TAB we make the change in the other direction.
  • In some programs, the SHIFT key is provided with functions similar to the CTRL key when it comes to selecting elements multiple times.

More functions of the SHIFT key with key combination

key combination Function
[Win] + [Shift] + [↑] Expands an active window to the full height of the screen, but the width of the window is not changed.
[Win] + [Shift] + [↓] Minimizes the active window to the symbol on the taskbar, can be done multiple times.
[Win] + [Shift] + [→] Moves a window from the left screen to the right without altering its position relative to the screen margin or size
[Win] + [Shift] + [←] In multiscreen (extended desktop), it moves the active window from right to left or vice versa without altering its position or size.
[Win] + [Shift] + [S] Take a screenshot.
[Ctrl] + [Shift] + [Esc] Proceed to open Task Manager
[Shift] + click a program on the Start menu or taskbar Another instance of the program opens.
[Ctrl] + [Shift] + click a program on the Start menu or taskbar It will run the program as administrator.
[Shift] + [F10] Context menu, equivalent to the right mouse button menu key.
[Shift] + [Insert] Paste any content from the clipboard.

On the other hand, thanks to its great versatility it is possible to find multiple shortcuts and key combinations to be used in specific programs. In this way, a more fluid and efficient work is achieved in different documents, whether from Word, Excel, Photoshop or other frequently used software.

You can visit the ” How to ” section with interesting articles with explanations of processes or other DIY PC types.

Undoubtedly, knowing what the SHIFT key is and its wide range of options is relevant for those who work in digital environments that promote its use to speed up some process.

This button, easy and quick to use, has provided a great impact with its use that has been maintained over time, and that together with other keys with functions of equal importance, have allowed to improve performance and help in all kinds of jobs.

Secret functions that you did not know about the SHIFT key

Did you know that pressing the SHIFT key five times activates the special keys?

Popup window that opens when you press the SHIFT key five times.

Take a look at the video if you want to know more or in case the console does not activate, how you can enable it.

Curiosities of the SHIFT key

The SHIFT key (in unicode language, the date is represented upwards with the character U+21E7) that is available on both sides of the keyboard (right and left) are not exactly the same.

At a technical level they do not respond exactly the same , in fact, they have different keyboard codes so in games these keys are usually seen programmed differently or in programs a direct shortcut can be assigned to one of the keys leaving the other with its function.


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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