1. A caret is another name for a cursor.

Caret2. Alternatively referred to as the circumflex, the caret is the symbol ( ^ ) above the 6 key on a standard United States qwerty keyboard. In mathematics, the caret represents an exponent, square, cube, or other power. For example, 6^3, which may also be represented as 63 or 6 * 6 * 6.

Programming and regular expressions

Carets are also used in computer programming languages for various reasons. For example, in Perl, a user may use the below regular expression to replace the first character in the variable "myvariable" with an uppercase character. Many programs that support regular expressions (Regex) will use ^ to match the first character in a line or string.

$myvariable =~ s/^(\w)/\U$1/g;

In C-style programming languages, the caret is used for a bitwise XOR.

Shorthand for Ctrl

Computer documentation may list commands such as ^X, ^C, ^Z, etc. as a short way of saying Ctrl-X, Ctrl-C, Ctrl-Z, etc. In other words, press and hold the Control or Ctrl key and then press the letter following the caret to do the keyboard shortcut.

Read above line

In chat, someone may type a series of carets, e.g. (^^^^^^^), which is an indication to read the above line.

Related pages

Also see: Cursor, Keyboard terms