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Chapter 3. Taking Control with Your Keyb... > Pecking Away at the Keyboard - Pg. 27

Taking Control with Your Keyboard and Mouse 27 Pecking Away at the Keyboard The keyboard and printer are pretty much all that's left of the old manual typewriter, and the keyboard hasn't changed much in its computer adaptation (see Figure 3.1). However, there have been a few key changes: · Function keys--The 10 or 12 F keys at the top or left side of the keyboard (F1, F2, F3, and so on) were frequently used in old DOS programs to quickly enter commands. F1 is still used to display help in Windows and most Windows programs, and you can assign function keys to perform specialized tasks in most programs. · Arrow keys, Page Up, Page Down, Home, and End--Also known as cursor-movement keys, these keys move the cursor (the blinking line or box) around onscreen. · Numeric keypad--A group of number keys positioned like the keys on an adding machine. You use these keys to type numbers or to move around onscreen. Press the NumLock key to use the keys for entering numbers. With NumLock off, the keys act as arrow or cursor-movement keys. Most computers turn on NumLock on startup. · Ctrl and Alt keys--The Ctrl (Control) and Alt (Alternate) keys make the other keys on the key- board act differently from the way they normally act. For example, in Windows, you can press Ctrl+A (hold down the Ctrl key while pressing A) to select all the text or objects displayed in the current window. · Esc key--You can use the Esc (Escape) key in most programs to back out of or quit whatever you are currently doing. · Print Screen/SysRq--This sends the screen image to the Windows Clipboard, a temporary storage area for data. To learn more about the Clipboard, see "Cutting, Copying, and Pasting Stuff" in Chapter 11, "Giving Your Documents the Editorial Eye." · Scroll Lock--Another fairly useless key in some programs, Scroll Lock makes the arrow keys push text up and down on the screen one line at a time instead of moving the insertion point. · Pause/Break--The king of all useless keys, Pause/Break is used to stop your computer from performing the same task over and over again--something that old programs seemed to enjoy doing. Figure 3.1. A typical keyboard. A Special Key, Just for Windows Most keyboards manufactured after 1995 have an extra key that has the Windows logo on it. The key is typically located near the lower left corner of the keyboard--to the left of the spacebar. You can use this Windows key to quickly enter commands in Windows, as shown in Table 3.1.