Computer Keyboard Key Explanations

Windows keyWhen dealing with technical commands that use the keyboard (for example, web pages or the command line), you may hear such things as forward slash, backslash, and caret. Many times, this can be confusing for anyone unfamiliar with each of the symbols on a keyboard. The chart below identifies non-alphanumeric keys with a description or link with further information.

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.
F13 - F24 Information about the F13 through F24 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 pg up key
Page down Page down or pg dn 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
Euro
$ 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

Additional information