Forward slash

Updated: 10/30/2017 by Computer Hope

Forward slashAlternatively referred to as a solidus, virgule, or whack, the forward slash is the name of the "/" character on the computer keyboard. Forward slashes most commonly used to describe a network address, URL's, and other addresses. For example, in the below Computer Hope URL the forward slash is used three times.

Note: Although "slash" is most often used to describe the forward slash, it could be used describe either a forward or backward slash. It is better to say "forward slash" instead of "slash" when telling someone to enter a forward slash.

Tip: Early typewriters and computer keyboards only had a forward slash. The backward slash was not made popular until MS-DOS started being used.

Where is the forward slash key on the keyboard?

Below is an overview of a computer keyboard with the forward slash key highlighted in blue on the main keyboard as well as the numeric keypad.

Tilde key

How to create a forward slash

Creating the / symbol on a U.S. keyboard

On English keyboards the forward slash is on the same key as the question mark key next to the right Shift key.

Creating the / symbol on a smartphone or tablet

To create a forward slash on a smartphone or tablet open the keyboard and go into the numbers (123) or symbols (sym) section and then press your finger on the / symbol.

Other uses of the forward slash

A forward slash may also be used for any of the below reasons.

  • A math symbol for divide.
  • With dates, the forward slash separates the month, date, and year.
  • A file and directory separator in a Linux or network file path.
  • With HTML, XML, and other markup languages the forward slash is used with closing tags.
  • In MS-DOS, the forward slash is used to perform a command option.
  • With regular expressions, a forward slash is used as a delimiter or separator.
  • In Linux, ./ execute a compiled program.
  • With chat, the forward slash starts a command. For example, in IRC /msg is a message command.
  • In online games, the forward slash starts an action. For example, in World of Warcraft /dance makes your character dance.

Backslash, Divide, Forward, Keyboard terms, Slant, Slash, Whack