Computer keyboard key explanations

When talking to tech support or to other people about keyboard commands, web pages, and command line commands, you may hear such things as forward slash, backward slash, and caret. Many times this can be confusing for anyone unfamiliar with each of the symbols on a keyboard. The chart below helps identify each non-alphanumeric keyboard key and a short description of the key or a link to a page with information about the key.

Symbol Explanation
Windows PC keyboards have a Windows key, which looks like a four-pane window
Command Apple Mac computers have a command key.
Esc Esc (Escape) key
F1 - F12 Information about the F1 through F12 keyboard keys.
Tab Tab key
Caps lock Caps lock key
Shift Shift key
Ctrl Ctrl (Control) key
Fn Fn (Function) key
Alt Alt (Alternate) key (PC Only; Mac users have Option key)
Spacebar Spacebar key
Arrows Up, Down, Left, Right Arrow keys
Back Space Back space (or Backspace) key
Delete Delete or Del key
Enter Enter key
Prt Scrn Print screen key
Scroll lock Scroll lock key
Pause Pause key
Break Break key
Insert Insert key
Home Home key
Page up Page up or pgup key
Page down Page down or pgdn key
End End key
Num Lock Num Lock key
~ Tilde
` Acute, Back quote, grave, grave accent, left quote, open quote, or a push
! Exclamation mark, Exclamation point, or Bang
@ Ampersat, Arobase, Asperand, At, or At symbol
# Octothorpe, Number, Pound, sharp, or Hash
£ Pounds Sterling or Pound symbol
$ Dollar sign or generic currency
¢ Cent sign
¥ Chinese Yuan
§ Micro or Section
% Percent
° Degree
^ Caret or Circumflex
& Ampersand, Epershand, or And
* Asterisk and sometimes referred to as star.
( Open parenthesis
) Close parenthesis
- Hyphen, Minus or Dash
_ Underscore
+ Plus
= Equals
{ Open Brace, squiggly brackets, or curly bracket
} Close Brace, squiggly brackets, or curly bracket
[ Open bracket
] Close bracket
| Pipe, Or, or Vertical bar
\ Backslash or Reverse Solidus
/ Forward slash, Solidus, Virgule, or Whack
: Colon
; Semicolon
" Quote, Quotation mark, or Inverted commas
' Apostrophe or Single Quote
< Less Than or Angle brackets
> Greater Than or Angle brackets
, Comma
. Period, dot or Full Stop
? Question Mark