Computer Basics Lesson 5: Learn About the Keyboard

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Keyboarding is the new typing. No longer do your fingers need to punch a key with the sleek new keyboards of today. Lighter taps on the keys are what are required to become an efficient keyboardist. In contrast to the typewriters of yesteryear, there are more keys filling up the board. Becoming familiar with the keys will guarantee less frustration and better overall computing experiences.

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What is on the Keyboard?

Standard Alphabetical and Numerical Keyboard:

You still have the traditional layout as the typewriter:

keyboard layout 

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Your home row is A S D F and J K L ; Your left hand pinky will be placed on the A, ring finger on S, Middle on D, index finger on the F and your thumb on the space bar. Your right left hand pinky will be placed on the ;, ring finger on L, Middle on K, index finger on the J and your thumb on the space bar. The F and J have ridges on them so you may find your correct position by touch.

On this board you will see an Enter button used for hard returns. No longer do you need to press this button after every line. In fact, you would only use it to enact commands or to start a new paragraph.

Above the previous keyboard, you will see a set of function keys. They appear like this:

 function keys

Function keys listed between F1-F12 are commonly used as shortcuts for computer functions. You will see to the far left of the function keys the Esc or escape button. This useful button will close menus or used for a way to stop within web browsers.

Some control keys you will see next to the spacebar are shown here:

 control keys

The Control Keys are used in combination with other keys to perform certain commands. The windows icon on the control key button will launch the start menu in Windows. The arrow buttons are useful for navigation within programs such as word processing applications such as Microsoft Word.

Some more navigational and erasing keys include:

 navigation keys

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The Delete key is used for erasing. The Insert, Home, End, Page Up, and Page Down are used to move within a screen.

The computer keyboard is also equipped with a numerical keypad to the far right of the keyboard.

 numerical keys

This keyboard expedites the manner used to enter numbers into an application such as electronic spreadsheets.

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Speed should not be your focus when learning the keyboard. Rather than becoming quick on the keys learn where the keys are and what they are used for. You may not use all of the keys on the keyboard. It takes time to become more comfortable on the keys.

Interesting Tidbit

If your mouse was to malfunction, you can use the keys on your keyboard to navigate and perform functions on your computer. The most popular combination is Ctrl+Alt+Delete. Pressing these three buttons in sequence (keeping each one pressed down while you press the next ones), together will take you into a mode where you may shut down your machine. This is important to know if your mouse is not responding.

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Vocabulary and Glossary

Control Keys
Control Keys are used in combination with other keys to perform certain commands.
Function Keys
These keys are listed between F1-F12 are commonly used as shortcuts for computer functions.

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More Information

Standard keyboard layout (understanding the keyboard):

Microsoft keyboarding games:

What are the F1 through F12 keys?:

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