=== by Bob Sutherland ===
Page 4 of 7
Do you know the names of the keys on your computer keyboard? This web page lists the modifier keys found on the computer keyboard.
When you press a modifier key by itself nothing appears to happen. Modifier keys only have an effect when you hold them down while pressing another key. Some modifier keys can set a lock so that you do not need to continually hold them down.
An example of a modifier key is the [Shift] key. If you press the letters of the alphabet keys by themselves you will see what is known as lower case or small letters being typed on your screen. If instead you hold down the [Shift] key while pressing the letters of the alphabet keys you will see upper case or capital letters being typed.
Another example of a modifier key is the [Caps Lock] key. If you press the [Caps Lock] key once then that will set the lock so that you do not need to continuously hold the key down to type capital letters. If you press the [Caps Lock] key a second time then the lock will be turned off and you can resume typing small letters.
The modifier keys are all used in ways similar to either the [Shift] or [Caps Lock] keys to modify or change the behaviour of other keys on the keyboard when you are typing.
Caps Lock key. Caps is an abbreviation of capital since the key is used to lock the keyboard so that it will only type capital letters. The output of the number, punctuation and symbol keys are not effected by your use of the Caps Lock key.
Alt key. Alt is an abbreviation of the word alternate.
AltGr key. AltGr is an abbreviation of the words alternate graphic. This key replaces the right Alt key for some languages and regions of the world to allow them to type a local currency symbol and other symbols specific to their needs.
Option key. The Option key replaces the Alt key on Macintosh computer keyboards.
Command key. The Command key is found on Macintosh keyboards. Years ago the marking on the key included the Apple logo.
Command key; Four loop cloverleaf; Place of interest sign. North Americans call this key a four loop cloverleaf. To them it looks like a simplified diagram of the intersection of two major highways where one highway crosses over the other and there are ramps circling around. Europeans call this key a place of interest sign because it is the symbol used on their road signs to mark tourist attractions and places of special interest to travellers.
Meta key; Super key. Found on Linux keyboards. Replaces the Command key of Macintosh keyboards and the Windows logo key of Windows keyboards.
Windows logo key. Replaces the Command key of Macintosh keyboards and the Meta or Super key of Linux keyboards.
Scroll lock key. On Windows PC keyboards the [Scroll lock] key modifies the numeric keypad keys so that they can be used as cursor keys. This key turns off the [Num lock] key.
Num lock Key. Num is an abbreviation for number. On Windows PC keyboards the [Num lock] key turns off the [Scroll lock] key so the numeric keypad keys can be used as number and calculator keys.
Function key. The function key is a toggle switch that you turn on or off by pressing the key. You use the function key to turn the numbered function keys on so that they can be used for their historical purpose as a keyboard shortcut replacing the computer mouse. By pressing the function key again you turn the historical purpose of the numbered function keys off so that row of keys can then be used for alternative purposes such as controlling screen brightness and speaker volume.