On keyboards that include one, the numeric keypad is located on the far right side. Most laptop keyboards do not have this feature built in, but you can purchase an external numeric keypad if you need one. If you’re asking yourself why in the world you’d ever need a numeric keypad, here are two good reasons:
You increase speed by decreasing fatigue. Although the numbers and mathematical symbols do all appear on the standard keyboard keys, because they’re not often used in normal document typing, many typists – even the experts – aren’t as familiar with their placement. Not only that, it takes all eight fingers to type the full range of numbers and symbols. It’s easier to get fatigued, both physically and mentally, if you’re trying to use the standard keyboard for numeric data entry. Numeric keypads are favored over using the numbers on the Top Row by people who work with a lot of numbers. This could include accountants, sales or administrative personnel, or anyone else who regularly works with large batches of digits, for example when doing data entry on spreadsheets.
You increase speed by taking advantage of the keypad layout. Because you don’t have to move your fingers as far to reach all of the numbers when you’re using a keypad, you will be more effective in increasing numeral input speed. In fact, the industry standard for numeric input speed is 250 dpm, or digits per minute – more than twice the normal typing speed that most of us would even think to aim for! Such a high speed might sound impossible to achieve, but it isn’t. As is the case with the other keyboard keys, practice allows you to continually improve your numeric input speed.
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