Standard Windows Keyboard Layout


Keyboard Shortcuts

Applies to Windows 7, 8 and 10

Desktop keyboard

Windows Keyboard


Laptop keyboard

Laptop Keyboard


Explanation of the Keys on a Windows QWERTY Keyboard


"The name "QWERTY" for our computer keyboard comes from the first six letters in the top alphabet row (the one just below the numbers). It is also referred to as the "Universal" keyboard. It was the work of inventor C. L. Sholes, who put together the prototypes of the first commercial typewriter in a Milwaukee machine shop back in the 1860's. This key layout prevents the keys from jamming on the old typewriters".



Keyboard Layouts: There are two major English Language computer keyboard layouts, the United States layout and the United Kingdom layout. In Australia and English speaking Canada, the U.S. Keyboard is used. The UK keyboard has additional keys added for the Pound and Euro currency symbols and some other special symbols are in a different location. So when you are installing a new operating system select the U.S. Keyboard layout.

Keyboard Short Cuts are a Single Function Key or combinations of two or more keys that perform a task that would typically require searching through a menu system and using the mouse. Key combinations will include the CTRL, Alt and Shift Keys Plus one of the Function Keys or a letter key. There is also a special function key with the Windows Logo on it and on laptops a key with FN on it.


Equivalent to clicking the Cancel button. In PowerPoint the Esc key will stop a running slide show. On a web page with animations, the Esc key will stop the animations. On a web page that is loading, the Esc key will stop the page from loading. The keyboard combination Ctrl + Esc will open the Start Menu.


F1 Thru F12

Function Keys: All Computer keyboards have a row of Function Keys across the top of the keyboard marked F1 to F12. They have a variety of different uses or no use at all, depending on the Operating System and which program is running. When combining the ALT or CTRL key with the Function Key, the number of uses is greatly increased. Example: pressing F1 will normally open a Help Menu or pressing ALT + F4 will close the open window. Laptops have an additional Key labelled FN to further expand the use of the Functions Keys. Function Keys and Keyboard shortcuts are explained in detail below.


Print Screen/SysRq

Usually located at the upper right hand corner of your keyboard next to the Scroll Lock and Pause/Break keys. Often abbreviated PrtScr, the Print Screen key is a useful key supported on most PCs. Some graphics programs and Windows, use the Print Screen key to obtain Screen Captures which are stored in the Clipboard.

Scroll Lock

This key is not frequently used and some keyboards may lack the Scroll Lock key. It was used on older programs to lock all scrolling techniques, but with the advent of the Wheel Mouse and Scrollbars it fell out of use.


This key is not frequently used. Software developers use this key to Pause execution of program code when testing or it can be used to pause screen output by the BIOS or DOS outputs. OR in combination with the Windows Key:

Windows Key + Pause/Break

Displays the Systems Properties dialog box.


This key can be used to move forward through options in a dialog box or move the text insertion point a set number of spaces.

Ctrl + Shift + Tab can be used to move backward through the options.

Ctrl + Tab allows movement from one open window to the next in an application with more than one open window.

Alt + Tab displays a list of open application windows. Keeping Alt depressed and selecting Tab cycles through the list. Releasing selects the highlighted application window.

Caps Lock

Locks the keyboard in "Capitals" mode (only applies to Alpha keys). The Caps Lock key should be used with caution. Using ALL CAPS is a usability no-no as many have difficulty scanning text that is ALL CAPS. Also, when sending email in all caps, this could be misconstrued as shouting at someone.


The obvious use of this key is to allow selection of capital letters when depressing the alphabet characters, or selecting the characters above other non-alpha keys.

Depressing the Shift key while inserting a CD-ROM will bypass auto play.

Shift + Delete to permanently delete a selected item, bypasses the Recycle Bin.

Ctrl-Windows Key- Alt-FN

Special Keys used in conjunction with other keys to form Keyboard Short Cuts. The FN key will only be found on Laptops and is used to access the secondary function printed on the Key.

Space Bar

Insert a space between words. It is suggested that you utilize Tabs (or other formatting commands) to put distance between elements. Using the space bar to insert visual space works but would not be considered a best practice in page design. Double spaces between sentences are no longer required. This is a carryover from the days of fixed width fonts on a typewriter such as Courier, Orator, Prestige Elite, etc.

Pressing the Space Bar while viewing a web page in Internet Explorer will scroll the page downwards. Shift + Space Bar will scroll the page upwards.


Creates a new Paragraph <p> (Hard Return) or what is referred to as a Hard Return. In any dialog box a selected button or command can be selected by depressing this key. Selected buttons can be recognized by their darker (dotted) borders, or what is referred to as Focus.

Shift + Enter

Creates a new Line Break <br> (Soft Return) or what is referred to as a Soft Return.

Shift + Arrow

Shift + Arrow Up, Down, Left or Right. Position your cursorFlashing Cursorat the beginning of the area you wish to highlight for copying. Now use the up, down, left or right arrow keys to select areas of content to be highlighted, copied, pasted, etc.


While working with text, use this key to delete characters to the left of the insertion point.


While working with text, use this key to toggle Insert or Type Over (replace) text as you type. In newer version of Word this Function has to be enabled in the Options Menu.


Go to beginning of line or depress and hold the Ctrl key as you select Home to go to the Beginning of the document.

Page Up

In a browser window use the Page Up key to move up one full screen on a web page.


While working with text, use this key to delete characters to the right of the insertion point. This key can also be used to delete selected files. If you use the keyboard combination Shift + Delete the item is permanently deleted, bypassing the Recycle Bin.


Go to End of Line or depress and hold the Ctrl key as you select End to go to the End of the document.

Page Down

In a browser window or text editor, use the Page Down key to move down one full screen on a web page.

Up Arrow

Navigate in a document to the line above. Hold the Ctrl key down as you press this key to move to the beginning of the second line above.

Right Arrow

Navigate in a document one character to the right. Hold the Ctrl key down as you press this key to move one word to the right.

Down Arrow

Navigate in a document to the line below. Hold the Ctrl key down as you press this key to move to the beginning of the second line below.

Left Arrow

Navigate in a document one character to the left. Hold the Ctrl key down as you press this key to move one word to the left.

Function Keys & Keyboard Shortcuts

Windows Keyboard Shortcuts

Keypad Keys

Num Lock

If you want to use the numeric keypad on the right end of the keyboard to display numbers, the Num Lock key must be selected (usually a light above the Num Lock will indicate that it is on). If you want to use the keypad to navigate within a document, turn off Num Lock by pressing the key (the light will go off).

Laptops that do not have a separate Number Keypad may have the Keypad printed on some of the letter keys. See the Laptop Keyboard Picture at the top of this document. Pressing the F11 Function key will turn on/off this keypad. If you press the letter "J" and get "1" instead you have the number keypad turned on.


Explanation of the Alt Key

1. The Alt by itself will open the MENU Tool Bar in both Internet Explorer and Firefox.


2. In older versions of Word the Alt key will open the items on the Menu Bar that are underlined. Alt F opens File, Alt E opens Edit and so on.


3. In newer versions of Word with the Ribbon Tool bar, the Alt key turns on Letters for each different section of the Ribbon and pressing that letter will take you to that section or tab. Example Alt + N opens the Insert Tab on the Ribbon Tool Bar followed by a letter being assigned to each item.   Alt + N + I opens the Insert Hyperlink Dialog Box.



For more on the ALT Key and the Character Map: Click Here!


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