Numeric keypad

Updated: 04/12/2021 by Computer Hope

Alternatively referred to as the 10-key, number pad, numeric keyboard, numerical keypad, numpad, or ten key, the numeric keypad is a 17-key keypad on the far right side of a PC keyboard. A numeric keypad may also be a separate device that connects to a computer.

The keypad allows an individual to quickly input numbers into a computer. For example, the keypad is often used for anyone who deals with numbers frequently or has to perform calculations with a software calculator.

Tip

To switch between the number and the directional functions of the keypad, press the Num Lock key.

Where is the numeric keypad?

Below is a visual example of the Saitek keyboard and where the keypad is on almost every computer keyboard.

Computer keyboard keypad

External USB Keypad

A numeric keypad may also be a separate device, not built into a keyboard. Numeric keypads usually connect to a computer with a USB cable, but older keypads may use a serial connector instead of USB. Some separate numeric keypads have a single-line LCD screen, like a calculator and the Kensington keypad to the right.

What is 10-key experience?

Anyone who is proficient at using the numeric keypad or calculator to input numbers or perform calculations quickly is said to have 10-key experience. This also means you don't need to look down at the keypad while using it.

What is the keypad home row?

The home row for the numeric keypad is 4, 5, 6, and Enter. Your right hand index finger should be on the number 4, middle on the 5, ring finger on the 6, and your pinky resting on the Enter key.

Tip

There is usually a small bump on the five key to help position your right hand without looking.

Why do keyboards need a numeric keypad?

The numeric keypad's layout makes it easier and faster to type numbers and perform calculations than using the top keyboard numbers. For example, someone could type "486+123" and press Enter with one hand (the right hand) quickly. Without the numeric keypad, the person would have to use both hands and most likely look down at the keyboard.

Are there letters on a keypad?

The keypad has no letters, it only has numbers and symbols.

Numeric keypad overview

The U.S. numeric keypad contains the below 17 keys (going from top-left to bottom-right). Below is a listing of each of these 17 keys with links to pages with additional information about each key.

Note

Apple keyboards do not have a num lock key and therefore only has numbers on the numeric keypad.

Clear key, Keyboard, Keyboard terms, Keypad, MouseKeys, Number key, Num lock key