A character key sends a character to the computer. When the user holds down a
MODIFIER KEY, it alters the meaning of the character key being pressed (or what
the mouse does when clicked).
Character keys include letters, numbers, punctuation, the Space bar, and the
following non-printing characters: Tab, Enter, Return, Delete (or Backspace), Clear
and Esc (Escape).
In text, pressing the Space bar enters a space between characters. When full
keyboard access is turned on, pressing the Space bar selects the item that currently
has the keyboard navigation focus (the equivalent of clicking the mouse button).
The Tab key is used to insert a tab character when typing text. It can also advance
you to the next item, window, box, option or menu within an application. You may
need to test this one out to get the complete hang of it.
The Enter key, for all intents and purposes, performs the same function as the Return
key. See also Return key.
Pressing the Return key moves the cursor to the next line when using any sort of
text editor or processor like Mail or Word. It is also used to select the highlighted
button in a dialog box menu.
This is the Backward Delete or Backspace key and on some keyboards is marked as
a left pointing arrow “←” or just “delete”. This key moves the cursor one position
backwards, deleting the preceding character.
Pressing the Clear button in some applications will remove the selected data. For
example, in Excel, it clears the data within a cell. This button is rarely used and is
not found on laptops.
The Escape key, which is marked esc on most keyboards, can be used to dismiss pop
up windows. In many cases, pressing it does nothing. However, it can sometimes get
you out of trouble by making the computer go back or escape to a previous screen.
© Copyright by Dean Pirera – 2011