Escape key

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Escape key
Escape key ISO keyboard icon

The escape key Esc (from English to escape , “flee”, “escaped”, “get out”) or the cancel key is located on conventional computer keyboards in the upper left corner. Pressing the key usually aborts an action currently being carried out by the computer. Bob Bemer is considered to be the inventor of the key .

The Escape key, along with the Alt-Gr key and the Enter key in the numeric keypad, is one of the few keys on German keyboards that have not been labeled in German.

A keyboard symbol for the Escape key is standardized in ISO / IEC 9995 -7 as symbol 29 “Escape” and in DIN ISO 7000 “Graphic symbols on equipment” as symbol ISO-7000-2029. This character is contained in Unicode in the block Various technical characters as U + 238B broken circle with northwest arrow (⎋). This symbol is used regularly in macOS .

Under PC-compatible DOS , the key is usually abbreviated with "Esc", but especially in a technical context it is also symbolized with the control sequence "^ [" or the "←" character, which is found in the code pages used under DOS at the position of the Esc- Control character.


  • The loading process of a website can be interrupted in various web browsers with the Escape key.
  • In most Windows application dialog boxes, pressing the Escape key is equivalent to clicking the Cancel button.
  • Full-screen views can often be exited with the Escape key.
  • In many applications, pressing the Escape key cancels an entry that has already been started in a text field and restores the original status there.
  • The Escape key initiates an escape sequence .

See also

Wiktionary: Escape key  - explanations of meanings, word origins , synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Abort button - , on August 9, 2015
  2. Lars Danielsson: Han uppfann Escape-tangenten ("He invented the Escape key") ., October 8, 2012, accessed October 9, 2012 (Swedish).
  3. Computer pioneer Bob Bemer dies - Heise , June 24, 2004
  4. Unicode chart 2300-23FF (PDF; 292 kB)