Standard Windows Keyboard Layout - Windows Natural Keyboard

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Explanation of the Keys on a Windows QWERTY Keyboard

 Q  W  E  R  T  Y 
"The name "QWERTY" for our computer keyboard comes from the first six letters in the top alphabet row (the one just below the numbers). It is also referred to as the "Universal" keyboard. It was the work of inventor C. L. Sholes, who put together the prototypes of the first commercial typewriter in a Milwaukee machine shop back in the 1860's."
Esc
Equivalent to clicking the Cancel button. In PowerPoint the Esc key will stop a running slide show. On a web page with animations, the Esc key will stop the animations. On a web page that is loading, the Esc key will stop the page from loading. The keyboard combination Ctrl + Esc will open the Start Menu.
F1
While working in an application, depressing this key will bring up the applications help menu. If there is no open application F1 will open Windows Help.
F2
Choose this key to rename a selected item or object.
F3
Depressing this key will display the Find: All Files dialog box.
F4
Selects the Go To A Different Folder box and moves down the entries in the box (if the toolbar is active in Windows Explorer)
F5
Refreshes the current window. In Internet Explorer, F5 will Refresh the web page.
F6
Moves among panes in Windows Explorer.
F7
F8
F9
F10
Activates menu bar options. Use right and left arrows to select menus and down arrows to display pull down menus.
F11
In Internet Explorer this key will allow you to toggle between full screen viewing mode and normal viewing mode.
F12
Print Screen/SysRq
Usually located at the upper right hand corner of your keyboard next to the Scroll Lock and Pause/Break keys. Often abbreviated PrtScr, thePrint Screen key is a useful key supported on most PCs. In DOS, pressing the Print Screen key causes the computer to send whatever images and text are currently on the display screen to the printer. Some graphics programs and Windows, use the Print Screen key to obtain Screen Captures.
Tab
This key can be used to move forward through options in a dialog box.
Ctrl + Shift + Tab can be used to move backward through the options.
Ctrl + Tab allows movement from one open window to the next in an application with more than one open window.
Alt + Tab displays a list of open application windows. Keeping Alt depressed and selecting Tab cycles through the list. Releasing selects the highlighted application window.
Caps Lock
Locks the keyboard in "Capitals" mode (only applies to Alpha keys). The Caps Lock key should be used with caution. Using ALL CAPS is a usability no-no as many have difficulty scanning text that is ALL CAPS. Also, when sending email in ALL CAPS, THIS COULD BE MISCONSTRUED AS SHOUTING AT SOMEONE.
Shift
The obvious use of this key is to allow selection of capital letters when depressing the alphabet characters, or selecting the characters above other non-alpha keys.
Depressing the Shift key while inserting a CD-ROM will bypass auto play.
Shift + Delete to permanently delete a selected item, bypasses the Recycle Bin.

Control Key

Ctrl
Depressing the Ctrl key while clicking allows multiple selections. Holding the Ctrl key down and pressing other key combinations will initiate quite a few actions. Some of the more common ones are listed below.
Ctrl + A
Select All items
Ctrl + B
Add or remove Bold formatting
Ctrl + C
Copy, places the selected/highlighted copy on the clipboard.
Ctrl + C + C
Opens the clipboard.
Ctrl + F
Opens the Find what: dialog box. Great for finding references on a web page while using your favorite web browser.
Ctrl + H
Replace, brings up the Find and Replace dialog box. Great for global find and replace routines while working in normal and html views in your favorite WYSIWYG editors like FrontPage. You can also use this to find and replace content within your Word Documents, Excel Spreadsheets, etc...
Ctrl + I
Add or remove Italic formatting.
Ctrl + N
Window, In Internet Explorer, opens a New Window. In Outlook, opens a New Mail Message. In most publishing programs like Word, opens aNew Document.
Ctrl + O
Open, brings up a browse dialog and allows you to select a file to open.
Ctrl + P
Print
Ctrl + S
Save
Ctrl + U
Add or remove Underline formatting.
Ctrl + V
Paste, inserts the copy on the clipboard into the area where your flashing cursorFlashing Cursoris positioned or the area you have selected/highlighted.
Ctrl + W
Close, will close the document currently open.
Ctrl + X
Cut, removes the selected/highlighted copy and places it on the clipboard.
Ctrl + Y
Redo last command. Many software programs offer multiple Redo's by pressing Ctrl + Y + Y + Y...
Ctrl + Z
Undo last command. Many software programs offer multiple Undo's by pressing Ctrl + Z + Z + Z...
Ctrl + Esc
Open the Start menu (or use the Windows Key if you have one).
Ctrl + =
Spell checker (pre WinXP).
Ctrl
While dragging a file to copy the file.
Ctrl + Shift
While dragging a file to create a shortcut.
Ctrl + Tab
Allows movement (toggle) from one open window to the next in an application with more than one open window.
Ctrl + F4
Close a window in an application without closing the application.
Ctrl + F5
In Internet Explorer, Ctrl + F5 will Refresh the web page bypassing cache (all images and external file references will be reloaded).

Windows Key

 Windows Key
On either side of the spacebar, outside the Alt key, is a key with the Windows logo. Holding the Windows key down and pressing another key will initiate quite a few actions. Some of the more common are listed below.
Windows Key
Displays the Start Menu.
Windows Key + D
Minimizes all windows and shows the Desktop.
Windows Key + D
Opens all windows and takes you right back to where you were.
Windows Key + E
Opens a new Explorer Window. Probably one of the hottest Windows keyboard shortcuts. This one gets a lot of hoorahs!
Windows Key + F
Displays the Find all files dialog box.
Windows Key + L
Lock your Windows XP computer. Logoff in Windows Pre-XP.
Windows Key + M
Minimizes all open windows.
Windows Key + Shift + M
Restores all previously open windows to how they were before you Minimized them.
Windows Key + R
Displays the Run command.
Windows Key + F1
Displays the Windows Help menu.
Windows Key + Pause/Break
Displays the Systems Properties dialog box.
Windows Key + Tab
Cycle through the buttons on the Task Bar.

Alt

Alt
Located on either side of the space bar. Holding the Alt key down and pressing another key will initiate various actions. Some of the more common ones are listed below:
Alt + F4
Closes the current active window. If there is no active window this opens the Shut Down dialog box.
Alt + underlined letter in menu
To carry out the corresponding command on the menu.
Alt + left/right arrows
In a browser moves forward or back through the pages visited in a window.
Alt + Space Bar
Displays the current window's system menu. This is the same as left clicking on the application icon at the top left of the window.
Alt + Enter
Displays a selected items properties. This can also be done with Alt + double-click.
Alt + PrtScn
Captures the top window of the active application.
Alt + Space Bar
Displays the main window's system menu. This is the same as clicking on the application icon at the left end of the title bar.
Alt + Space Bar + C
After the system menu is displayed (see above), this combination will close a window. This works the same way as Alt + F4 but requires less stretch.
Alt + - (hyphen)
Displays the current window's system menu. This is the same as left clicking on the application icon at the top left of the window.
Alt + Tab
Displays a list of open application windows. Keeping Alt depressed and selecting Tab cycles through the list. Releasing selects the highlighted application window.
Alt Windows Application Key Ctrl
The Application key has an image of a mouse pointer on a menu (between the Alt and Ctrl keys (Windows Application Key) to the right of your Space Bar). Depressing this key will display the selected item's shortcut window. This is the menu that is displayed by right-clicking.
Space Bar
Insert a space between words. It is suggested that you utilize Tabs (or other formatting commands) to put distance between elements. Using the space bar to insert visual space works but would not be considered a best practice in page design. Double spaces between sentences are no longer required. This is a carryover from the days of fixed width fonts on a typewriter such as Courier, Orator, Prestige Elite, etc.
Pressing the Space Bar while viewing a web page in Internet Explorer will scroll the page downwards. Shift + Space Bar will scroll the page upwards.
Enter
Creates a new Paragraph <p> (Hard Return) or what is referred to as a Hard Return. In any dialog box a selected button or command can be selected by depressing this key. Selected buttons can be recognized by their darker (dotted) borders, or what is referred to as Focus.
Shift + Enter
Creates a new Line Break <br> (Soft Return) or what is referred to as a Soft Return.
Shift + Arrow
Shift + Arrow UpDownLeft or Right. Position your cursorFlashing Cursorat the beginning of the area you wish to highlight for copying. Now use the up, down, left or right arrow keys to select areas of content to be highlighted, copied, pasted, etc.
Backspace
While working with text, use this key to delete characters to the left of the insertion point.
Insert
Home
Depress and hold the Ctrl key as you select Home to go to the first line of a document.
Page Up
In a browser window use the Page Up key to move up one full screen on a web page.
Delete
While working with text, use this key to delete characters to the right of the insertion point. This key can also be used to delete selected files. If you use the keyboard combination Shift + Delete the item is permanently deleted, bypassing the Recycle Bin.
End
Depress and hold the Ctrl key as you select End to go to the last line of a document.
Page Down
In a browser window use the Page Down key to move down one full screen on a web page.
Up Arrow
Navigate in a document to the line above. Hold the Ctrl key down as you press this key to move to the beginning of the second line above.
Right Arrow
Navigate in a document one character to the right. Hold the Ctrl key down as you press this key to move one word to the right.
Down Arrow
Navigate in a document to the line below. Hold the Ctrl key down as you press this key to move to the beginning of the second line below.
Left Arrow
Navigate in a document one character to the left. Hold the Ctrl key down as you press this key to move one word to the left.

Keypad Keys

Num Lock
If you want to use the numeric keypad on the right end of the keyboard to display numbers, the Num Lock key must be selected (usually a light above the Num Lock will indicate that it is on). If you want to use the keypad to navigate within a document, turn off Num Lock by pressing the key (the light will go off).
 *  (Asterisk)
In Windows Explorer this expands everything under the current selection. Caution: do not try this with the C Drive icon selected.
 -  (Minus Sign)
In Windows Explorer this collapses the current selection.
 +  (Plus Sign)
In Windows Explorer this expands the current selection.