What is computer keyboard?

In computing, a keyboard is a typewriter-style keyboard, which uses an arrangement of buttons or keys, to act as mechanical levers or electronic switches. It is one of the most important parts of a computer which is used to enter commands, text, numerical data and other types of data by pressing the keys on the keyboard. A user talks with a computer through input devices such as keyboard and mouse. Input devices are used to enter data to a computer. The entered data then converted into machine language so that a CPU understands the data or instruction comes through the input devices. Types of keyboard Computer keyboard comes in several type and variation, however, the basic elements are the same in all keyboards. The most common types include - 101 or 102-Key enhanced keyboard (this is a popular type of keyboard now used almost in all system units) - 104-Key Keyboard Commonly, a keyboard layout type which is called QWERTY (takes its name from the first six letters of the typing keys) is used widely for English language keyboard.

Keyboard types a) Standard Layout Type b) Non-Standard Layout Type
One factor determining the size of a keyboard is the presence of duplicate keys, such as a separate numeric keyboard, for convenience. Further the keyboard size depends on the extent to which a system is used where a single action is produced by a combination of subsequent or simultaneous keystrokes (with modifier keys, see below), or multiple pressing of a single key. A keyboard with few keys is called a keypad. See also text entry interface. Another factor determining the size of a keyboard is the size and spacing of the keys. Reduction is limited by the practical consideration that the keys must be large enough to be easily pressed by fingers. Alternatively a tool is used for pressing small keys.

a) [edit] Standard

[2] [edit] Laptop-size Keyboards on laptops and notebook computers usually have a shorter travel distance for the keystroke and a reduced set of keys. mathematical symbols for addition. and smartphones. and several function keys. -. These keys are collectively known as a numeric pad. and it can consist of the following types of keys:  arithmetic operators such as +. the GKOS keyboard has been designed for small wireless devices. *. such as the 101-key US traditional keyboards or the 104-key Windows keyboards. Also the 'enter' key is usually shaped differently. The keyboards on laptops usually have a shorter travel distance and a reduced set of keys. [edit] Thumb-sized Smaller external keyboards have been introduced for devices without a built keyboard. are also used as a way to input data and text. / . They are often used to facilitate data entry with smaller keyboards that do not have a numeric keypad.750 inches. A chorded keyboard allows pressing several keys simultaneously. Small keyboards are also useful where there is a limited workspace.05 mm). subtraction.81 mm). For example. A thumb keyboard (thumbboard) is used in some personal digital assistants such as the Palm Treo and BlackBerry and some Ultra-Mobile PCs such as the OQO. and have a key travel of at least 0. such as the AlphaGrip. a decimal point. such as PDAs. full-sized keyboard. include alphabetic characters. numbers and a variety of function keys. commonly those of laptop computers. multiplication. Desktop computer keyboards. Other two-handed alternatives more akin to a game controller.150 inches (3. and division.Standard "full-travel" alphanumeric keyboards have keys that are on three-quarter inch centers (0. The internationally common 102/105 key keyboards have a smaller 'left shift' key and an additional key with some more symbols between that and the letter to its right (usually Z or Y). or a numeric keypad. Standard USB keyboards can also be connected to some non-desktop devices. and the function keys may be placed in locations that differ from their placement on a standard. punctuation symbols.[1] Computer keyboards are similar to electric-typewriter keyboards but contain additional keys. Numeric keyboards contain only numbers. numeric keys. 19. They may not have a numerical keypad.

Num Lock button. PgDown. due to the additional cost and space requirements of other types of hardware keyboards. [edit] Foldable Further information: Flexible electronics A foldable keyboard. Microsoft Windows. Since there are many combinations available. Mac OS X. such as on devices that can be used with only one hand. The fastest typists (as of 2007) use a stenograph. Chorded keyboards are less desirable in many cases because it usually takes practice and memorization of the combinations to become proficient. End. Court reporters' stenotype machines use chorded keyboards to enable them to enter text much faster by typing a syllable with each stroke instead of one letter at a time. chorded keyboards can effectively produce more actions on a board with fewer keys. a kind of chorded keyboard used by most court reporters and closed-caption reporters. PgUp. .     numeric digits 0–9 cursor arrow keys navigation keys such as Home. used to enable or disable the numeric pad enter key. Another input device such as a mouse or a touchscreen can be used to operate each virtual key to enter text. and on small mobile devices that don't have room for larger keyboards. etc. Software keyboards have become very popular in touchscreen enabled cell phones. b) Non-standard layout and special-use types [edit] Chorded While other keyboards generally associate one action with each key. and some varieties of Linux include on-screen keyboards that can be controlled with the mouse. chorded keyboards associate actions with combinations of key presses. [edit] Software Software keyboards or on-screen keyboards often take the form of computer programs that display an image of a keyboard on the screen. Some chorded keyboards are also made for use in situations where fewer keys are preferable.

photo-electric keyboard and optical key actuation detection technology. allowing only one beam per row of keys (most commonly horizontal beam). mounted on a small PCB. non-reflective surface is also required for the keys to be projected onto. all keyboards have the following parts:Typing area It looks and arranged like a traditional typewriter where you press alphabetic keys.[3] When in use. these keyboards can conform to uneven surfaces. [edit] Optical keyboard technology Also known as photo-optical keyboard. Users of projected keyboards often experience increased discomfort in their fingertips because of the lack of "give" when typing. Because the "keys' are simply projected images. making them popular in hospitals and laboratories. . usually with a laser. light responsive keyboard. and are more resistant to liquids than standard keyboards. It holds alphabetic character such as letter. These can also be connected to portable devices and smartphones.Foldable (also called flexible) keyboards are made of soft plastic or silicone which can be rolled or folded on itself for travel. and will count a key as being pressed when it "sees" the user's finger touch the projected image. Most commonly the emitters and sensors are located in the perimeter. they cannot be felt when pressed. Most optical keyboards require at least 2 beams (most commonly vertical beam and horizontal beam) to determine the actuated key. The device then uses a camera or infrared sensor to "watch" where the user's fingers move. There are 12 functions keys starting from F1 through F12. Most projection keyboards are made for use with PDAs due to their small form factor. as they can be disinfected. Projection keyboards can simulate a full size keyboard from a very small projector. These keys are used for special purposes and most programmers use these keys to do a specific task. special characters and numbers. Some optical keyboards use a special key structure that blocks the light in a certain pattern. An optical keyboard technology utilizes light emitting devices and photo sensors to optically detect actuated keys. onto a flat surface. The light is directed from side to side of the keyboard interior and it can only be blocked by the actuated keys. Back to Top Basically. Function keys The functions keys are located at the top of a keyboard and grouped into four. This is the area you use mostly when you do word processing. A flat. Some models can be fully immersed in water. [edit] Projection (as by laser) Projection keyboards project an image of keys.

Pause/Break are user for frequent functions. Similarly. it is located at the right side of a keyboard.. These are the parts found in standard computer keyboard and mostly used in desktop computers. Pressing the Num Lock key above the numeric keypad will tell whether the keys are on numeric or directional mode. Insert key switches between insert and overtype modes. for example. Home. Usually. More on computer keyboard shortcuts. F12 key will display Save As dialogue box. It can also be used as directional keys. Delete. Page Up. Print Screen/SysRq. Back to Top Numeric keypad Numeric keypad is the other part of computer keyboard. pressing F2 will display AutoCAD text window. but recently we are beginning to see laptops that have dedicated numeric keypads as well. Down. the Caps Lock Status light tells you that is on and can type Capital letters. you can press F1 to display the Help. if you press the Caps Lock on the typing keypad.. Generally. Right. which let you to move the cursor Left. and End keys. Most applications will tell on their manuals and guides how these functions keys are used in the applications. if you are writing text with Microsoft Word and wanted to read Help. These keys used differently again in other applications. If it is on. Escape key. The top keys holds Insert. For example. you can check all the keys and how they carry out specific task depending on the type of application you are running. The bottom keys are independent directional keys. Delete key erases a text or page. Left or Right.For example. arranged top and bottom. It is arranged like a standard calculator used to enter numerical data. . It has two groups of keys. The End key takes you at the end of a page. Up and Down. it is on numeric mode and can enter numbers. Page Up and Page Down keys help you to move one page or screen up or down. If it is off. Page Down. Home key brings you back at the beginning of a page. functions keys will greatly benefit you if you know how to use them well. if you are a user of AutoCAD. Scroll Lock. You press Print Screen key if you want to save the current Window as an image. Cursor and monitor controls These are keys found between the typing keypad and the numeric keypad. Laptop and Notebook keyboard types are more compact. F5 key will display Find and Replace dialogue box. Status lights. it is on directional mode and only used for moving a cursor on screen UP.

only USB. This is the side effect of wireless keyboards. Most modern PCs (motherboards) even don’t have PS/2 connectors. . e-mail and so on. you often change battery. These buttons used to activate actions such as music buttons (play. wireless keyboard gets power from battery or AC power connection. otherwise it will soon fail to operate. pause. Now this trend is changed and the connection is replaced by USB (universal serial bus) and wireless connectors.Other than the above parts. Conclusion In summary. forward. rewind. Until recently. a keyboard connects with the standard PS/2 type or Serial. Back to Top How keyboard connects to a computer? computer Keyboard can connect with a computer through a cable or signal (wireless connection). Bluetooth. stop and mute). computer keyboard is an input device that can’t be escaped. some keyboards incorporate additional buttons. When you buy keyboards go for the known and best brand types. Since there is no connection with main pc.

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