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How many keys are on a keyboard?

We've counted up the keys on all kinds of computer keyboards...

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Modern computer keyboards come in all shapes and sizes. Ranging from full-size models with numeric keypads and over 100 keys, to compact keyboards that offer just the essentials.

In this article, we've rounded up some of the most common types of computer keyboards you'll come across and revealed their key counts. Including Magic keyboards made by Apple and mechanical gaming keyboards.

What keys do most keyboards have?

There are all kinds of keyboards out there, but you'll find that most full-size PC keyboards will have 6 rows of keys comprised of the following:

  • Alphanumeric keys: Featuring all 26 letters of the alphabet and 10 number keys from 0-9 (usually placed on the 5th row). These are also sometimes referred to as 'character keys', which can include the Space Bar and additional punctuation/symbol keys.

  • Function keys: Labelled F1 through F12 and found on the top row of a keyboard. They are typically used as shortcuts to perform various functions depending on the operating system and application your computer's running.

  • Control keys: Like Shift, Ctrl, Alt, the Windows logo key, and Command (on Apple keyboards). These are used in combination with other keys to capitalise letters, type symbols, or perform specific system functions and shortcuts.

  • Arrow keys: Used to move the cursor up, down, left, and right.

  • Enter key: A large key located to the right of a keyboard, which is used to complete a command or move the cursor to the next line in a document.

  • Backspace key: Found right above the Enter key and used to delete text that’s to the left of the cursor.

  • Numeric keypad: This is a set of 10 additional number keys placed on the right of a keyboard, which is organised to resemble a calculator. A keypad can be used for entering numbers quickly and performing quick calculations.

Common keyboard types

Now that you know the names of the keys on a keyboard, here are some of the most common types you'll come across and their sizes:

Full-size keyboards

These provide a complete set of keys with everything you need to work productively on a computer. Aside from all the letters and numbers you’d find on every keyboard, full-size models have numeric keypads useful for data entry tasks, arrow keys, and function keys for quick shortcuts. This makes them a great choice for office workers who want to work fast.

Tenkeyless keyboards

Also known as ‘TKL’ or ‘80% keyboards’, these often do away with the numeric keypad and a few other non-essential keys to provide more space for your mouse. TKL keyboards still offer all the important keys needed for daily use, just in a slightly smaller and more practical design.

60% keyboards

These minimalistic keyboards are all about portability and saving desk space. With only around 60% of the keys of a full-size keyboard, they usually cut out number keypads and function and arrow keys. Most 60 percent keyboards are mechanical keyboards, which are popular among gamers for their tactile response, programmable keys, and RGB backlighting for playing expertly in the dark.

75% keyboards

These sit in between TKL and 60% keyboards when it comes to size and their number of keys. Most 75 percent keyboards are mechanical and used for gaming too, so think of them as compact keyboards that don't sacrifice quite as much in terms of usability. They usually keep the arrow keys and the column of keyboard buttons that include Insert, Delete, Home, and End.

It's clear that contemporary computer keyboards come in a variety of sizes and layouts to suit certain needs. Here are the key counts for some of the most widespread keyboards available:

PC keyboards:

  • Windows PC keyboard: 104 keys

  • Enhanced European PC keyboard: 102 keys

  • Traditional US PC keyboard: 101 keys

Compact/gaming keyboards:

  • Tenkeyless keyboard: 87 keys

  • 75% keyboard: 83 keys

  • 60% keyboard: 61 keys

Apple keyboards:

  • Apple Magic keyboard with numeric keypad: 109 keys

  • Apple Magic keyboard: 78 keys

FAQs

How many arrow keys are there on a standard keyboard?

Standard computer keyboards contain four arrow keys (left, right, up, and down) that are usually located in the bottom-right corner of your keyboard. You can use them to quickly navigate through documents, web pages, and programs like Excel.

What is a QWERTY keyboard?

QWERTY is the most common layout used for English language keyboards. Its name comes from the arrangement of the first six letter keys on the top row of a keyboard. The layout was first introduced for typewriters in the 1800s and remains the standard for English-language computer users.

What do function keys do on keyboard?

Wondering what each function key actually does? Read the list below and you’ll be using shortcuts like a productivity pro in no time:

  • F1: When you press F1 in a software app, a help window or menu will open so you can learn some useful tips.

  • F2: This key usually allows you to rename or edit a file or folder.

  • F3: Opens the search feature so you can quickly find files on your computer or in the software you're running.

  • F4: This key can have different functions depending on the software you're using. If in File Explorer, pressing F4 just opens the address bar.

  • F5: F5 is most used to refresh what’s in the currently selected window or folder, or to reload the current webpage you’re on in a web browser.

  • F6: If in a web browser, pressing F6 will highlight the address bar so you can quickly type in a website you want to load up.

  • F7: When using Microsoft Word or any other Microsoft app, pressing F7 will initiate a handy spelling and grammar check.

  • F8: This key is mostly used during a computer's startup to open the advanced boot options.

  • F9-12: The functions of these keys depend on the application or operating system you're using. For example, F11 can be used to enter and exit full-screen mode when viewing videos online. While F12 can open the Save As dialogue box in Word.

Any more questions?

We've got loads more helpful advice on keyboards. How about our guide on how to change the keyboard language? Or to make social posts and emails more fun and engaging, we've got tips on how to do emojis on a keyboard too!

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