Layout of the keyboard
Look at your keyboard. Unless you are using a laptop computer, the layout should be very similar to this:
The majority of these keys (about 50) are used for typing in letters, numbers, and symbols.
Some of the other keys are labelled in the picture above. These keys have the following functions:
This can be used to stop various things from happening. It generally has the same effect as pressing "Cancel", or "Stop" on Internet Explorer (to stop a web page loading). Escape does not stop all things.
If you want to type a lot of capital letters, press Caps Lock, then press it again to stop. The Caps Lock indicator light tells you whether Caps Lock is on.
Hold down Shift while pressing a letter key to make that letter a capital (unless Caps Lock is on). Also, if you want a symbol which is shown above another symbol on the keyboard (e.g. "!" is above "1"), hold down Shift to type in that symbol.
Holding don Ctrl and pressing another key achieves various things, depending which program you are using. Ctrl+S usually saves your work, and Ctrl+P prints it. To find out what does what, look at a menu, and beside the text it will often say something like "Ctrl+N". You can then use this key combination as a shortcut. The same is true for Alt and Function keys.
Windows logo key
Press this to show the Start menu.
Like Ctrl, this is used for various shortcuts. For example, Alt+F4 closes the current window.
Press this to type a space between words.
These are not numbers. They are labelled F1 through to F12. They do different things in different programs, and often don't do anything at all. F1 usually displays help for the program you are using.
Press this to delete the last key that you typed. To be more accurate, it deletes what is to the left of the cursor. Delete deletes what is to the right of the cursor. In Internet Explorer, Backspace does the same as pressing "Back". Sometimes in Internet Explorer you mean to delete something but go back to the previous page instead.
Press Enter to start typing on a new line. Also, if a button displays a dotted rectangle like this: , pressing Enter has the same effect as clicking on the button.
Pressing the Insert key switches to Overtype (OVR) mode, which means when you type something, it overwrites what is to the right of the cursor. Sometimes you might press this key by accident - if you do, just press it again. Overtype does not have an indicator light like Caps and Num - to see if you are currently overtyping, look for "OVR" somewhere near the bottom of your screen. The cursor might also change from a vertical line to a black rectangle. Overtype does not work in all programs (it doesn't in Notepad, and WordPad doesn't display whether you're overtyping).
These are multi-purpose moving-around keys. Try pressing the Up and Down keys now, and you should see the page scrolls up and down. In a word processing or similar program, the arrow keys generally move the cursor around.
Print Screen (Print Scrn)
This copies the entire screen to the Clipboard. It can then be pasted into a program such as Paint and edited like any other picture. I have used the Print Screen a lot in my guide.
The number keys below the Num Lock have two purposes - entering numbers and moving around text. Num Lock switches between these. If you want to enter long columns of figures, using the number pad on the right of the keyboard is a lot easier than the number keys along the top of the keyboard (if you're right-handed).
Caps Lock & Num Lock indicator lights
These show whether Caps Lock and Num Lock are currently on. Don't worry about Scroll Lock - this doesn't seem to do anything in Windows. If you think your computer may have crashed, try pressing the Caps Lock key - if the light doesn't goes on or off then your computer has stopped responding.