Computer Keyboards

On most computer keyboards, which key is directly to the left of the letter Q?

And the answer: Tab.      

On Mac and PC keyboards, the key to the left of the letter Q is almost always the Tab key. Using the Tab key allows you to indent or move several spaces at a time, without using the space bar.

Photo credit: daskeyboard.com

Nearly 150 years ago, one man changed the fate of keyboards forever with 6 letters: QWERTY. American inventor Christopher Latham Sholes had been developing the typewriter for several years before his revelation. In his first edition, the layout appeared as follows:

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 - ,
Q W E . T Y I U O P
Z S D F G H J K L M
A X & C V B N ? ; R

Don't see a 0 or 1? Make no mistake: early typewriters excluded these keys to cut down on production costs (acknowledging that the keys could be subbed for an uppercase 'i' or uppercase 'o'). Soon enough, though, Soles made some essential changes. In his next model, the typewriter keyboard swapped the 'R' and '.' keys, creating the QWERTY we continue to use and love today (it's now known as the Universal Keyboard). From these changes, the typewriter soon became a widespread commercial success.

However, QWERTY keyboards aren't the only ones around, even today. Some gaming keyboards are arranged in a way so that the most common letters for playing games are grouped together, making it easier to use. Others, which still use the English alphabet in non-English languages, will swap a few keys for ease of access. AZERTY, used in French-speaking countries across Europe and Africa, is one such version. As its name suggests, it switches 'Q' for 'A' and 'W' for 'Z' in the top line.

Image credit: Wikipedia.


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