Along with the mouse, being able to use a keyboard is an important part of using computers and the internet. It may look like there are an awful lot of buttons or ‘keys’ as they are often called, but it’s easy once you know how.
How to use a computer keyboard
Whenever you use a computer, you’ll probably use a keyboard. The most common kind is referred to as a ‘QWERTY’ keyboard after the keys on the top row of letters.
What a keyboard looks like
A keyboard is for putting information including letters, words and numbers into your computer. The keys are the individual buttons you press when you type.
The number keys across the top of the keyboard are also found on the right of the keyboard.
The letter keys are in the centre of the keyboard.
The symbol keys to the right of the letters include symbols such as the question mark and full stop.
The keys that surround the letters, numbers and symbol keys on the left, right and bottom of the keyboard help you to choose where and how you type.
Using the keys
When you open a document or click in a box to type, you will see a vertical flashing line. This is the cursor, it shows you where you are about to start typing on a page or screen.
Pressing the 'shift' key allows you to type capital letters and the symbols at the top of the keys.
The 'shift' keys are on the left and right of the keyboard, with the arrow pointing upwards.
For capital letters, hold down the 'shift' key and hold and then type the letter.
For symbols at the top of a number key, press down the symbol key and then type the symbol. You can use the 'shift' key to type any symbol at the top of a key.
The 'caps lock' key allows you to write in capital letters. to turn it on, press it once and then type. To turn it off, press it again.
Putting in spaces, moving your cursor and deleting text
The 'space bar' puts a space between words. Press it once to put in a space.
The 'tab' key puts a bigger space between words. Press it once to put in a space.
The 'enter' key moves your cursor down a line.
The 'arrow' keys allow you to move your cursor in all directions on the page or screen - up, down, left and right.
To delete your typing you need to put your cursor top the right of a word. Press the 'backspace' button to delete your word. The cursor will move to the left and delete as it goes.
Improve your computer skills
Why not develop your computer skills - there are courses for beginners and beyond. These range from free online learning through to training, which can lead to qualifications.