Spacebar

Updated: 12/31/2020 by Computer Hope
Spacebar

Alternatively known as space and the space key, the spacebar or space bar is a long horizontal key on the lower edge of a keyboard. It's always the largest and longest key on the keyboard. When the spacebar key is pressed, it creates an empty space known as a space character or whitespace that helps separate words and other characters in a sentence. For example, if there were no spaces in this paragraph, all of the text would be together and very difficult to read.

Tip

When the keyboard is positioned in front of you, the spacebar should be in the center of your body.

Where is the spacebar on the keyboard?

Below is an overview of a computer keyboard with the spacebar highlighted in blue.

Spacebar

What is the function of the spacebar?

Pressing the Spacebar once creates a single space where the text cursor is currently position.

Tip

In Adobe Photoshop, hold down the Spacebar to change the mouse cursor to a hand and move around the picture.

In the practice below, add spaces to the text by clicking the mouse where you want to add the space and then press the Spacebar. Once the text cursor is in the box below, you can also use the arrow keys to move the cursor.

Practice adding space

Why is the spacebar the biggest key on the keyboard?

The spacebar is the biggest key on the keyboard because both thumbs should be resting on the spacebar.

Do both thumbs press the spacebar?

Although both thumbs should be resting on the spacebar, only one thumb should be pressing the spacebar. Usually, a right-handed person would press the spacebar with their right thumb. However, it's up to the user to decide which thumb works best for them.

How many spacebar keys are on a keyboard?

On all standard keyboards, there's only one space bar at the bottom center of the keyboard. On some split keyboards, it may appear that there are two space bars because of the split, but there's still technically only one spacebar.

What keys are on the same row as the spacebar?

If you go from the left side of the keyboard to the right side of the keyboard, the standard PC bottom row could have the following keys.

Apple computers and keyboards have the following keys on the spacebar row.

Compact and laptop keyboards may also have the following keys on the spacebar row.

What are the rows above and below the spacebar row?

The spacebar row is the last row of keys on the keyboard, with the bottom row keys being above and no rows below.

Note

Some may refer to the spacebar row as the bottom row because it's the row closest to the bottom of the keyboard.

How many spaces are in a tab?

In most cases, a tab consists of five spaces.

File names with spaces

Although all operating systems today support spaces in file names, in a command line, you may encounter errors because the command line doesn't know where the file name starts and ends. To prevent errors with file names with spaces, surround the file name with quotes.

Should I be using "space bar" or "spacebar" in my writing?

When referring to a key on a keyboard, both "space bar" and "spacebar" are correct. At Computer Hope, we use the single word version "spacebar" or "spacebar key" in all of our writing.

Keyboard terms, Non breaking space, Space, White space