PC Accessories

How Many Keys Are on a Computer Keyboard?

Pc Keyboard

The keyboard is an essential part of the computer. This isn’t a surprise considering it’s thanks to the keyboard that you can enter information into your PC. And the keys, which come in a broad range of types and have different uses, are one integral component that makes up a computer’s keyboards. 

Quick Answer

But how many keys does a keyboard have? The number of keys varies depending on the size and shape of your keyboard. On average, most laptop keyboards have 74 keys. However, other standard keyboards can have 104 keys, including separate function keys, number pad, alphanumeric keys, and other assorted Alt and Control keys

Read on as this guide takes you through a detailed guide on the precise numbers across Apple keyboards and PC/IMB keyboards. Without further ado, let’s get started. 

What’s the Number of Keys on Your Keyboard?

The number of keys on keyboards varies from one manufacturer to another. Here’s a breakdown of these numbers.

Apple Keyboards 

How many keys you’ll find on a Mac depends on whether you’re using a smaller or larger keyboard, and here are the precise numbers.

  • 109 keys on an Apple keyboard that have a numeric keypad.
  • 78 keys on an Apple MacBook Air laptop.
  • 78 keys on an Apple wireless keyboard.

IBM/PC Keyboards 

The number of keys on a PC/IBM keyboard varies greatly, and this depends on the form factors and layouts; here’s the range.

  • 83 keys on the original IBM computer keyboard released in 1981.
  • 84 keys on the newer IBM PC keyboard announced in 1984.
  • 84 keys on the AT keyboard.
  • 86 keys on Windows-based laptop keyboard.
  • 101 keys on the traditional US keyboard. 
  • 101 keys on an AT-enhanced keyboard. 
  • 102 keys on an Enhanced European keyboard 
  • 104 keys on a Windows keyboard.  

However, you can find other keyboards with more than 104 keys to meet specific needs, such as programming, gaming, or media center control. These extra keys on such keyboards are used to control video and music playback, launch applications, and trigger different macros or actions.  

Brazilian, Korean, and Japanese keyboards have more keys because these languages arrange keys differently to incorporate some characters that appear more often. In addition, gaming keyboards have between 110 to 115 keys designed this way because they incorporate specialized functions such as an additional USB port, on-the-fly macro recording, and backlighting. 

What Are the Different Types of Keys on the Keyboard?

Since you know how many keys can be found on the keyboard, the next thing is to understand the different sets of keys. The classification of these keys is done according to the various functions you can do by clicking them. Here’s the classification of the keyboard keys.

Alphabet Keys

These keys allow you to use your keyboard to type letters starting from A to Z but aren’t arranged in a particular alphabetic order. These keys, which are 26 in number, are used when typing words when writing sentences and paragraphs. The most popular letter arrangement is QWERTY. 

Number Keys

These are the keys used for entering numbers using your keyboard. They normally appear on the keyboard’s top row and the right side. Number keys are 10 in number and range from 1 to 0

Navigation Keys

These keys are used when navigating a document, web page, or other elements on your computer screen. These keys consist of the four arrow keys, the right, left, bottom, and top, that indicate their navigation direction. In addition, they include PageUp, PageDown, Delete, Insert, End, and Home buttons. 

Function Keys

They’re 12 in number on the keyboard and are used for carrying out specific tasks. The function keys are located on the keyboard’s top row, and they allow you to enter commands without needing to enter long strings of characters. These keys are labeled F1, F2, F3, F4, F5, F6, F7, F8, F9, F10, F11, and F11

Special Purpose Keys

These keys aim to do special activities in the text editor. These special purpose keys include the Backspace key, symbol key, Enter key, Shift key, Caps Lock key, space bar, Esc key, Windows key, and Delete key. 

Toggle Keys

The keyboard has three toggle keys: the Num Lock, Caps Lock, and Scroll Lock. These keys are used for toggling action of particular keys for a certain duration when the toggle key is still active.  

Modifier Keys 

The keys include the Control key (Ctrl), Shift key, Alternate (Alt) key, and Alternate Graphic (Alt Gr) key. These keys don’t have their own unique function and are instead used for modifying the action of another particular key for a temporary duration. They must always be used with other keys to carry out specific functions or actions. 

Summary 

Because keyboards come in a wide range of shapes and sizes, determining the number of keys can be confusing. This varying number of keys is because some keyboards incorporate special command and function keys besides being used for typing alone. It’s this that explains the varying number of keys on keys on the keyboard. 

But after reading this exhaustive guide, you better understand that the number of keys depends on your keyboard type. Knowing these insights will enable you to determine the best keyboard to get that best satisfies your needs. 

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