Forward slash

Updated: 10/30/2017 by Computer Hope
Forward slash

Alternatively 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.

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.


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, ./ executes 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