Updated: 01/18/2023 by Computer Hope

Y may refer to any of the following:

1. The letter "y" is chat slang for "why."

2. Y is a keyboard key used with the keyboard shortcuts Alt+Y, Command+Y, and Ctrl+Y.

3. With Microsoft Excel and other spreadsheet programs, "Y" is the twenty-fifth column of a spreadsheet. To reference the first cell in the column, you'd use "Y1."

4. In Adobe Photoshop, Y is a shortcut to select the history brush tools.

5. Y is the SI-derived symbol of yotta, when using a lowercase y, it's a yocto.

6. With date notations, a lowercase y is used for the year. For example, with a long date, it may be formatted as "dddd, MMMM d, yyyy," which is the same as "day of week, month day, year."

7. In the phonetic alphabet, "Y" is often pronounced as "Yankee."

8. Y is the twenty-fifth letter of the English alphabet. The letter "Y" comes after "X" and is followed by the letter "Z." To create a capitalized "Y," press Shift and Y at the same time.

With U.S. QWERTY keyboards, the "Y" key is on the top row, right of the "T," and left of the "U" key. See our keyboard page for a visual example of all keyboard keys.


If the "Y" key is not working on the keyboard, see: Some keys on my computer keyboard aren't working.


In ASCII (American Standard Code for Information Interchange), the uppercase "Y" is "089" in decimal (01011001 in binary). The lowercase "y" is "121" in decimal (01111001 in binary).


Doing the Alt code Alt+89 creates a capital "Y" and Alt+121 creates a lowercase "y" character.


The number 9 on a phone keypad creates a "Y" on a US phone.

Chat terms, Computer abbreviations, Letter