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Keyboard (computer)

device comprising an arrangement of buttons or keys used to input text in computers / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A computer keyboard is an input device that allows a person to enter letters, numbers, and other symbols (together, these are called characters) into a computer. It is one of the most used input devices for computers. Using a keyboard is often called typing.

A QWERTY computer keyboard in US layout.
Keyboard with backlight.

A keyboard contains many mechanical switches or push-buttons called "keys". When one of these is pushed, an electrical circuit is closed, and the keyboard sends a signal to the computer that tells it what letter, number, or symbol it would like to be shown on the screen. The computer then shows the character on the screen, usually at the place where the flashing text cursor is.

Besides entering characters, computer keyboards also have special keys that change the symbol (such as shift or caps lock or give the computer special commands (such as the arrow keys, CTRL and ALT). Different computer operating system use different special keys or use them differently. Special commands can also be activated through combinations of keys, called keyboard shortcuts. Some of the most common shortcuts on Windows programs are: Ctrl + C, to copy some text or a picture; Ctrl + V, to paste what was copied; and Ctrl + F, to find a certain word on a document or web page.

A keyboard can be joined to a computer using a wire, but can also be wireless (like those that use Bluetooth). Most wired 21st-century keyboards connect to a USB socket on the computer, but older ones use a round, purple DIN connector.