Underscore

UnderscoreAlternatively referred to as a low line, low dash, and understrike, the underscore ( _ ) is a symbol found on the same keyboard key as the hyphen. In the picture to the right, is an example of an underscore at the beginning and end of the "underscore" word.

Where is the underscore key on the keyboard?

Below is an overview of a computer keyboard with the underscore key highlighted in blue.

Underscore key

How to create the '_' symbol

Creating the '_' symbol on a U.S. keyboard

To create the underscore using a U.S. keyboard hold down the Shift key and press the hyphen key.

Creating the '_' symbol on a smartphone or tablet

To create an underscore on a smartphone or tablet open the keyboard and go into the numbers (123) and then (#+=) or symbols (sym) section and then press your finger on the '_' symbol.

What is an underscore used for on a computer?

The underscore is commonly used as an alternative to the space key when the space is not allowed. For example, in computer programming, a variable may be named $my_variable, using an underscore instead of a space because spaces are not allowed in a variable name.

Underscore vs. underline

An underscore is different than an underline. If you are trying to underline any letter, number, or other text, the underline feature should be used. The underscore, by contrast, takes the place of another character, like a number, letter, or symbol.

Related pages

Also see: CamelCase, Keyboard terms, White space