Where is the asterisk key on the keyboard?
Below is an overview of a computer keyboard with the asterisk key highlighted in blue on the main keyboard and the numeric keypad.
How to create the * symbol
Creating the * symbol on a U.S. keyboard
The asterisk is easier to use on the numeric keypad with math formulas.
Creating the * symbol on a smartphone or tablet
What is an asterisk used for on a computer?
Below are examples of how the asterisk is used on a computer.
An asterisk in a math formula
In a math formula, an asterisk is used to represent a multiplication (times). For example, in the below formula you can see that 5 <times> 2 is equal to 10.
5 * 2 = 10
An asterisk in a wildcard
The asterisk represents a wildcard or wild character with computers. For example, when typing *.TXT in a search or find field, the computer would look for any file ending with .TXT.
An asterisk in computer programming
Another example of an asterisk is in the nonexecutable statement used with some programming languages. For example, in the following PHP code, the comment "hidden text" would not show when executed because it is surrounded by a forward slash and an asterisk.
<?php /* hidden text */ echo "hello world"; ?>
A star symbol in a spreadsheet program
An asterisk as a reference
Finally, an asterisk is also commonly used as a reference mark in a document.