Enter

Updated: 05/02/2021 by Computer Hope

Enter may refer to any of the following:

Computer keyboard enter key

1. Alternatively known as a Return key, with a keyboard, the Enter key sends the cursor to the beginning of the next line or executes a command or operation. Most full-sized PC keyboards have two Enter keys; one above the right Shift key and another on the bottom right of the numeric keypad.

Tip

The arrow symbol pointing down and to the left on the Enter key (shown in the picture above) is called a Return symbol or Return key symbol.

Where is the Enter key on the keyboard?

Below is an overview of a computer keyboard with the Enter keys highlighted in blue on the main keyboard and numeric keypad.

Enter key

Note

Apple keyboards have a "Return" key next to the keyboard and an "Enter" key next to the number pad.

What if the Enter key goes to the next paragraph?

In programs such as Microsoft Word, when you press the Enter key, it may move to the next paragraph of the document instead of the next line. In these programs to go to the next line press the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Enter instead of only Enter.

What is the arrow on the Enter key?

Sometimes referred to as an elbow arrow, the Enter key arrow is what happens when you press the key. In other words, when you press Enter the text cursor moves down to the next line and to the left.

How is the Enter key used and what is its function?

The Enter key is most often used to return to the next line or start a new paragraph. For example, when I press the Enter key at the end of this sentence, it starts the next paragraph. If you press the Enter key twice, it adds a blank line between lines.

Below are some other examples and places the Enter key is used on a computer.

  • Return to the next line or starts a new paragraph in a word processor.
  • Submit a form. For example, on all search engines when you enter what you want to search for you can press Enter without having to move the mouse to the search button.
  • Activate a button or another object. For example, when navigating with a keyboard, you can press Tab until a button is highlighted, and once highlighted press Enter to press the button.
  • Open a web page after a URL is entered into a browser address bar. For example, you can type computerhope.com in the address bar and then press Enter to open the Computer Hope home page.
Note

As mentioned above, the Enter key and Return key activate whatever is highlighted or selected. So, unless you're typing, you should not press the Enter key without knowing what is selected. For example, if the Ok button is selected and you press Enter it would be the same as clicking the Ok button.

Which Enter key should I press?

On keyboards that have two Enter keys, it may be confusing for some users to know which Enter key to press. Both Enter keys perform the same function. Therefore you can press the key that is easiest for you to use. However, we recommend you press the Enter key closest to all the other letters when typing text. When entering numbers, use the Enter key on the numeric keypad.

Practice using the Enter key

Below is a textarea field to practice using the Enter key. Use this interactive text are to place an Enter in the middle and at the end of the line. In this example, if you wanted to start a new paragraph, you would need to click at the end of the sentence and then press Enter twice.

How many Enter keys are on the keyboard?

There are two Enter keys on a computer keyboard, one to the right of the main keyboard and the other on the bottom right corner of the numeric keypad. Keyboards and laptops without a numeric keypad only have one Enter key on the keyboard. Apple keyboards may have a Return key and an Enter key. Although these keys perform the same function, if you were counting keys that say "Enter" on an Apple keyboard it would be only one Enter key.

What keyboard shortcuts use the Enter key?

Below are links to keyboard shortcut keys that use the Enter key.

2. In general, enter or entering refers to when data or information is being placed (inserted) into the computer. For example, when searching for something in a search engine like Google, you are entering a query or set of words to find more information.

How do you enter information into the computer?

Information is entered into a computer using an input device. A good example of an input device used to enter information into the computer is the computer keyboard.

Input, Keyboard terms, Page Break, Return