Alternatively referred to as cursor keys, arrow keys are keyboard keys located in-between the standard keyboard and the numeric pad on computer keyboards. These four keys are the left arrow (back arrow), up arrow, down arrow, and the right arrow (forward arrow). The picture is an example of what the arrow keys may look like on your keyboard. Some keyboards such as the Microsoft Natural keyboard may arrange these keys differently.
How are arrow keys used?
- Move the text cursor on the screen.
- Use in combination with other keys for shortcut keys. For example, pressing the Alt key and the left arrow key in all browsers takes you back one page.
- Move a character in a computer game.
- Select text. For example, holding down shift and pressing the arrow key in the direction you want to highlight text.
- Move the mouse pointer using the keyboard instead of the mouse.
Overview of a keyboard
In the picture below, the Saitek Gamers' keyboard shows where the arrow keys can be found. In addition to the traditional arrow keys, as shown above, the numeric keypad can also function as arrow keys when Num Lock is turned off.
Also see: Keyboard terms