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[ The PC Guide | Systems and Components Reference Guide | Keyboards | Keyboard Key Groupings ]

Regular Alphanumeric and Punctuation Keys

The logical place to start looking at the keyboard is to consider the main typing area, which contains the "normal" keys most used on the keyboard. The main typing area is the large section of alphanumeric and punctuation keys found in the middle of the keyboard.

In this grouping I include the following keys:

  • Alphabetic Keys: The keys A through Z; nothing too exciting here. Regular keypresses produce lower-case letters, and shifted keypresses create upper-case letters. <Caps Lock> reverses the <Shift> key functionality.
  • Numeric/Punctuation Keys: These are the numeric keys along the top of the keyboard, above the alphabetic keys. Shifted, they produce various punctuation and special symbols. The numerics are pretty much universal on English-language keyboards; the punctuation symbols can be different depending on region. For example, the "#" key in the United States is a "" symbol in the United Kingdom (see the notes after the scan code table).
  • Other Main Punctuation Keys: Most of the other punctuation keys on the keyboard are located just to the right of the alphanumeric keys mentioned above. While they have special meaning in some software applications, they are "just characters" most of the time.
  • "White Space" Keys: These include the primary (main) <Enter> key, the <Tab> key and the <Space Bar>. These keys are a bit hard to categorize; they are used for formatting text, and to delimit text entries and commands. Collectively they are often referred to as "white space" since they are characters that separate "real" characters without containing any information in and of themselves. Of course, there is also a secondary <Enter> key that is part of the numeric keypad.

This table contains a full listing of the keys in this section, along with their key numbers and scan codes:

Key #

Regular
Character

Shifted
Character

Make Code

Break Code

1

`
(backwards quote)

~

29

A9

2

1

!

02

82

3

2

@

03

83

4

3

#

04

84

5

4

$

05

85

6

5

%

06

86

7

6

^

07

87

8

7

&

08

88

9

8

*

09

89

10

9

(

0A

8A

11

0

)

0B

8B

12

-
(dash)

_
(underscore)

0C

8C

13

=

+

0D

8D

16

<Tab>

<Backwards Tab>

0F

8F

17

q

Q

10

90

18

w

W

11

91

19

e

E

12

92

20

r

R

13

93

21

t

T

14

94

22

y

Y

15

95

23

u

U

16

96

24

i

I

17

97

25

o

O

18

98

26

p

P

19

99

27

[

{

1A

9A

28

]

}

1B

9B

29

\

|

2B

AB

31

a

A

1E

9E

32

s

S

1F

9F

33

d

D

20

A0

34

f

F

21

A1

35

g

G

22

A2

36

h

H

23

A3

37

j

J

24

A4

38

k

K

25

A5

39

l

L

26

A6

40

;

:

27

A7

41


(regular quote)

"
(double quote)

28

A8

42

#

~

2B

AB

43

<Enter>

 

1C

9C

45

\

|

56

D6

46

z

Z

2C

AC

47

x

X

2D

AD

48

c

C

2E

AE

49

v

V

2F

AF

50

b

B

30

B0

51

n

N

31

B1

52

m

M

32

B2

53

,
(comma)

<

33

B3

54

.
(period)

>

34

B4

55

/

?

35

B5

61

<Space Bar>

 

39

B9

Notes:

  • For the United Kingdom, key #4 is the "" symbol when shifted, and key #42 is the "#" symbol.
  • In the United States, key #29 is the backslash (and vertical bar / pipe symbol when shifted). In the 102-key U. K. keyboard this is key #45, and the codes for key #29 (2B and AB) are used for key #42.

Next: Modification Keys


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