The numeric keypad (including keypad , numeric keypad , numeric keypad , NumPad or Num-block ) referred to in the computer a specific area of the keyboard of a computer . It is a separate part of the keyboard that is used to enter digits, arithmetic operators and, under MS Windows, special characters as a Unicode number . On standard keyboards, it is located to the right of the normal key field.
In the German keyboard layout, the numeric keypad contains the digits 0 to 9, the comma, keys for entering addition, subtraction, multiplication and division signs, the enter key to confirm entries and the Num-Lock key to activate the Numeric keypads. The US keyboard layout has a period instead of a comma.
Some of the keys on the numeric keypad have two functions. If the numeric keypad is deactivated using the Num Lock key, its numeric keys are used for cursor control . If the scroll key is activated at the same time , in some applications (e.g. Microsoft Excel), the keys on the numeric keypad can be used to scroll without moving the cursor.
The arrangement of the number keys on a number pad is similar to the arrangement of the keys on a calculating machine keyboard . However, it differs from the arrangement on the telephone keypad , where the digits 1, 2 and 3 are at the top.
Smaller size keyboards, which are used today for netbooks and were previously common in most notebooks , usually do not have a separate number pad (they are Tenkeyless ). Here an area of the normal keyboard is redefined as a numeric keypad using a function key, usually designated with Fn . This means that some keys have a triple assignment, some even a quadruple assignment.
In the meantime, a keyboard layout with a numeric keypad has established itself in notebooks with a screen size of 15 inches or more. Notebooks of this size without a numeric keypad are rarely found, including in some model series from Dell . In this size, an additional number block can be associated with disadvantages, such as. B. shifting the writing keys and the touchpad away from the center point and thus from the center of gravity of the device, smaller Enter keys, unusual positioning of the cursor keys or similar restrictions that are necessary due to the limited area.
Number blocks are also available as externally connectable devices. In the past, PS / 2 and serial interfaces were used for this, nowadays external number blocks usually require a USB connection. They can also be used on devices with an existing numeric keypad in the keyboard layout.
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