How Many Keys Does A Computer Keyboard Have?

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One of the most important tools for interacting with any computer is the keyboard. With so many letters, numbers, and symbols on it you might think that knowing how many keys there are would be easy – but this isn’t true!

In general, Standard computer keyboards typically have 104 buttons while extended Keyboards may contain up to 180 keys. The number of keys on a keyboard will differ depending on what type or style your keyboard has.

  • ANSI computer keyboard has 101 keys.
  • ISO computer keyboard has 105 keys.

The difference between these two layouts is the location of the <Enter> key and <Shift> key, only, but it varies slightly depending on which country you are in.

Also, Extended keyboards contain 106 to 107 additional function keys at the right end of the bottom row; this allows many more functions to be available without switching out of (and into) numeric mode.

These additional keys are called “Function Keys” or “Programmable Function Keys”. Programmable function keys can often be programmed to emit a string of characters as a macro, or a series of keystrokes that represent an executable command.

In addition, some special buttons have been added recently such as volume control buttons for multimedia, wired internet controls, and special buttons for laptops that can control brightness levels.

The keys on a computer keyboard are attached to the keyboard itself through wires or wireless components. The arrangement of keys is usually standardized across different brands, but there are few differences in keyboards depending on which platform it is intended for (e.g., Macintosh or Microsoft Windows).

The JIS keyboard layout still has a smaller number of keys compared with the ANSI keyboard layout; Japanese input is directed to phonetic output by operating two shift keys (one for hiragana and katakana, and one for alphanumeric entry).

Types Of Computer Keyboards

With so many standards of computer keyboards available on the market for consumers, their types have been differentiated in a lot of ways. One of the most common types is the membrane keyboard which include a thin sheet that sits under the keys and when a button is pressed a small bubble appears in the rubber coating in order to complete a circuit for inputting information into your computer.

Then there’s scissor-switch keyboards which are also called mechanical keyboards since they use physical switches underneath each key for typing input data into your computer. It gives you tactile feedback and it makes less noise than standard rubber dome, but they usually cost more to manufacture.

Mechanical keyboards use actual individual switches underneath every key; this makes them loud and heavy compared to other types of keyboards, but also longer lasting and durable. With that said, mechanical keyboards are the preferred choice of gamers since they provide an appealing level of feedback and actuation force.

Other types of computer keyboards include capacitive membrane, buckling-spring, Hall effect sensor, and Roll-up keyboards (and many others). However, these other types aren’t as common but still show up in some modern laptops.

Ergonomic Computer Keyboards

The ergonomic keyboard is a computer keyboard that has been designed to reduce health risks like carpal tunnel syndrome, shoulder and neck issues due to the way it supports the hands. Modern ergonomic keyboards are split down the middle, curved at both ends with an elevated wrist support which alleviates pressure on the users’ wrists while they type or use their mouse.

Most of these keyboards come with interchangeable separate keypads (called “palm rests”) to provide more support for your palms when you’re not typing; also there are various adjustable features such as separate height adjustment, an adjustable wrist pad that will angle to suit your palm shape better – all in all it makes typing much easier over extended periods of time.

Ergonomic touchpads have largely replaced separate keypads because they take up less desk space and offer more functionality than the original version.

Bluetooth Keyboard

Bluetooth keyboards are wireless and can be paired with your computer or tablet. If you’ve seen a keyboard advertised as “wireless”, it’s probably Bluetooth because there aren’t any other wireless standards available, but sometimes they will come in 2 parts (the keyboard and the receiver which plugs into your USB port).

Computer keyboards are used to send commands and text input by typing on the keys. They’re called an input device since that’s what they do; take user input and transfer it into readable text for your computer.

The arrangement of keys is usually standardized across different brands, but there are few differences in keyboards depending on which platform it is intended for (e.g., Macintosh or Microsoft Windows).

The JIS keyboard layout still has a smaller number of keys compared with the ANSI keyboard layout; Japanese input is directed to phonetic output by operating two shift keys (one for hiragana and katakana, and one for alphanumeric entry).

Computers today come in all shapes and sizes, but one thing that they all have in common is that they require user input (meaning you need to be able to get information into your computer somehow).

How Do Computer Keyboards Work?

Today’s computers also use different types of input devices to send data back and forth between the machine. There are many different ways this can be done including keyboard w/ mouse, touch screen, voice command, video game controller, joystick, lightpen , trackball, light gun etc…  

Since we’re talking about keyboards here, we’ll focus on that type of input device.

When you press a key on your keyboard (a typewriter-style one or ergonomic), it actually sends an electrical signal to your computer which is recognized by the operating system and software as a specific character.

That’s why every keyboard has keys for letters and numbers; these symbols are called glyphs . Some keyboards can have certain keys programmed to produce special characters like @, *, < etc..  

Another important thing to know about a typical computer keyboard is that there’s more than just one way of organizing all the glyphs.

There are two main types of layouts: ANSI & ISO. The American National Standards Institute created the ANSI layout while the International Organization for Standardization created the ISO layout.

The ANSI layout uses 104 total keys compared with 106 on the ISO. This is because there is no key found on the ISO between left shift and enter, but one is added to the ANSI which can be used as an alternate backspace.

How many keys are there on an ergonomic keyboard?

The total number of keys on an ergonomic computer keyboard is between 17 and 120.

A standard QWERTY keyboard has 104 keys, while ergonomic keyboards can have anywhere from 17 (on Microsoft’s Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000) to as many as 120 (on Goldtouch’s USB Adjustable keyboard). The average number of keys on most ergonomic keyboards is in the 70s.

An ergonomic computer keyboard is designed to place the wrists in a neutral position when typing by avoiding awkward wrist pronation (twisting), ulnar deviation (bending towards the little finger), or hyperextension (extending backward).

Having fewer keys makes it easier for the fingers to stretch and reach them, which eases strain during typing. Many modern-day ergonomic keyboards also include additional features such as programmable macro keys, USB hubs, and other space-saving features that make them more attractive to users.

What is the difference between a regular keyboard and an ergonomic computer keyboard?

Ergonomic keyboards sacrifice some of the ease of typing afforded by a standard QWERTY key layout in favor of designing the shape of the board more akin to naturally aligning with the body’s musculature while typing.

A lot of ergonomic designs also reduce strain on joints such as wrists and elbows by rotating these outwards from their default position.

This makes it easier for users to stay mobile while still being able to type comfortably at length without discomfort or pain developing in their bodies after too long spent working at a computer screen.

Typically, an ergonomic keyboard has a more elevated wrist rest than either regular keyboards or laptop keyboards do. There are also many different shapes and configurations of ergonomic computer keyboards depending on which part of the body they are aiming to protect from strain while typing.

What is the function of all those keys on a keyboard?

Each computer keyboard has its functions defined by the computer operating system and applications programmed to access them.

Just like a standard QWERTY keyboard, each has specific alphanumeric characters and symbols printed on, or assigned to, each key. Computer keyboards use different technologies and layouts that vary from manufacturer to manufacturer and model to model.

Computer keyboards can contain:

The function of the keys depends on which OS is installed (Windows XP, Windows 7, Mac OS) and which application is currently in focus. It may also be worth pointing out that some keystrokes such as CTRL+ALT+DEL are not actually marked on the keyboard but can be invoked using certain key combinations.


So now that we know where all those keys come from, let’s see how many keys a computer keyboard actually has:  

If we include every key on a typical ergonomic keyboard (which includes separate keypads), they have 122 keys – 108 of which are standard and 14 of which are alternate or “function” keys. On a typical laptop it will only have around 80, most if not all laptops do.

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