Posted by: Jack Henry | March 23, 2017

Editor’s Corner: How to Describe Keys, Part 4

Function Keys

The function keys are labeled F1 through F12. Describe these keys with an uppercase letter F and a number, with no space in between (for example, “Press F1”). You may say the and key on first mention if it helps with clarity (for example, “Press the F1 key”).

Arrow Keys

The arrow keys move the cursor. Collectively, they are called “the arrow keys” (lowercase), but individually, they are called the Left Arrow key, the Right Arrow key, the Up Arrow key, and the Down Arrow key.

When referring to the arrow keys, always say the and key (for example, “Press the Right Arrow key”), unless you are referring to them in combination with another key (for example, “Press Shift+Right Arrow”).

Command Key and Windows Logo Key

The ⌘ Command key appears only on Apple® keyboards. It works similarly to the Ctrl key on a Windows® keyboard. You don’t need to say the and key, but you should use an image of the key whenever possible (for example, “Press ⌘ Command+C”).

The Windows logo key appears only on Windows keyboards. It opens the Start menu and is used in various keyboard shortcuts (for example, press Windows logo key+L to lock your desktop). When referring to the Windows logo key, Windows is capitalized, but logo and key are not.

…and the Rest

There are 15 other keys we have not discussed, but they follow the same general rules that apply to modifier keys. Capitalize the first letter of each word, and abbreviate as shown:

· Backspace

· Caps Lock

· Delete

· End

· Enter

· Esc

· Home

· Insert

· Num Lock

· Page Down

· Page Up

· Pause (or Break)

· Print Screen

· Scroll Lock

· the Tab key

Tip: To avoid confusion with tabs on a ribbon, on a webpage, or in a dialog box, always say “the Tab key,” except when you are referring to the Tab key in combination with another key (for example, “Press Alt+Tab”).

Ben Ritter | Technical Editor | Symitar®
8985 Balboa Avenue | San Diego, CA 92123
619-682-3391 | or ext. 763391 |

Symitar Documentation Services

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