Modifier key

Shift keyA modifier key is a key on a computer's keyboard that is only used in conjunction with another key. Modifier keys are often used with other keys to perform computer keyboard shortcuts and other commands. For example, in many text editor programs pressing the Ctrl + A will select all text.

Examples of modifier keys

On an IBM compatible computer, modifier keys include Alt, Ctrl, Shift, and the Windows key. On the Apple Macintosh computer, the Control, Option, Command, and Shift keys are modifier keys.

Additionally, most laptop and some desktop keyboards contain a Fn modifier key.

Tip: If you have difficulties pressing and holding a modifier key while pressing other keys you can enable the StickyKeys option in Windows.

Related pages

Also see: Keyboard terms, StickyKeys, Shortcut key