What is a Numeric Keypad?

Categories: All About Touch Typing, Typing Practice, Typing Science |

Most standard desktop computer keyboards include a numeric keypad. The numeric keypad is usually positioned to the right of the rows of letters. The keys on the numeric keypad display the digits zero through nine, along with other keys including the Number Lock (or [Num Lock]) key, mathematical symbols, and the [Enter] key.

If the presence of a numeric keypad seems redundant, it is. All of these digits and symbols are found elsewhere on a computer keyboard. However, the numeric keypad appeals to many people, especially accountants who are used to working on adding machines and individuals who spend a lot of time working on calculators, 10-key machines, or cash registers. The numeric keypad is also often preferred by those who spend their days entering long number sequences into spreadsheets. The keypad frequently corresponds to movement commands used in many computer games.

Laptop computers do not typically have enough space to include a numeric keypad. Instead, the [Num Lock] key toggles specific letter keys to become the equivalent of the number keypad keys. On a typical laptop, the number keys 7 8 9 on the top row keep those values, the letters U, I, and O become the 4 5 6 keys, the J, K, and L letters toggle to become 1 2 3, and the letter M becomes 0. Mathematical functions are assigned to other keys which may appear in different locations depending on your particular keyboard. Because of this difficulty, many people choose to purchase a stand-alone numeric keypad that they plug in to the laptop when it’s needed.

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