Updated: 09/12/2023 by Computer Hope
Yellow rectangle with B: characters in black lettering

B may refer to any of the following:

1. B: is a floppy disk drive letter used on MS-DOS and Windows-based computers most associated with the 5.25-inch floppy disk drive and sometimes the 3.5-inch floppy formats. Today, it's rare for a computer to use a B: drive, as both floppy formats are obsolete. Also, the hard drive defaults to the C: drive. However, assigning any drive as the B: drive is still possible.

2. In programs dealing with text, like a word processor, a "B" icon may be shown to represent bold.

3. With HTML (hypertext markup language), the <b> tag is used to bold text. See our <b> tag page for further information on this tag.

4. The B programming language is a programming language developed at Bell Labs in 1969 by Ken Thomson and Dennis Ritchie. The language was based on BCPL (Basic Combined Programming Language), and "B" is likely a shortening of that name. Although the B language is no longer used, it led to developing the C programming language, which is still widely used today.

5. B is a keyboard key used with the keyboard shortcuts Alt+B, Command+B, and Ctrl+B.

6. The letter "b" is also chat slang for "be" or "bee."

7. With a regular expression, \b is a word boundary in most languages or a backspace. When capitalized, \B is a non-word boundary.

8. With Microsoft Excel and other spreadsheet programs, "B" is the second column of a spreadsheet. To reference the first cell in the column, you'd use "B1."

9. In Adobe Photoshop, B is a shortcut to select brushes. Holding down the Shift while pressing B cycles through all brushes.

10. In the phonetic alphabet, "B" is often pronounced as "bravo."

11. B is the second letter of the English alphabet. The letter "B" comes after "A" and is followed by the letter "C." To create a capitalized "B," press Shift and B at the same time.

On U.S. QWERTY keyboards, the "B" key is on the bottom row, to the right of the "V" and left of the "N" key. See our keyboard page for a visual example of all keyboard keys.


If the "B" key is not working on the keyboard, see: Some keys on my computer keyboard aren't working.


In ASCII (American Standard Code for Information Interchange), the uppercase "B" is "066" in decimal (01000010 in binary). The lowercase "b" is "098" in decimal (01100010 in binary).


Doing the Alt code Alt+66 creates a capital "B" and Alt+98 creates a lowercase "b" character.


The number 2 on a phone keypad creates an "B" on a US phone.

A:, C:, Computer abbreviations, Drive letter, Floppy drive, Floppy drive terms, Letter