n. a keyboard that is a data input device for computers; arrangement of keys is modelled after the typewriter keyboard [syn: keypad]
A keyboard typically has characters engraved or printed on the keys and each press of a key typically corresponds to a single written symbol. However, to produce some symbols requires pressing and holding several keys simultaneously or in sequence. While most keyboard keys produce letters, numbers or signs ( characters), other keys or simultaneous key presses can produce actions or execute computer commands.
Despite the development of alternative input devices, such as the mouse, touchscreen, pen devices, character recognition and voice recognition, the keyboard remains the most commonly used device for direct (human) input of alphanumeric data into computers.
In normal usage, the keyboard is used as a text entry interface to type text and numbers into a word processor, text editor or other programs. In a modern computer, the interpretation of key presses is generally left to the software. A computer keyboard distinguishes each physical key from every other and reports all key presses to the controlling software. Keyboards are also used for computer gaming, either with regular keyboards or by using keyboards with special gaming features, which can expedite frequently used keystroke combinations. A keyboard is also used to give commands to the operating system of a computer, such as Windows' Control-Alt-Delete combination, which brings up a task window or shuts down the machine. A command-line interface is a type of user interface operated entirely through a keyboard, or another device doing the job of one.
Usage examples of "computer keyboard".
She leaned over the computer keyboard and typed with blunt, polish-free nails on the keys.
He reached for the most innocuous key on a computer keyboard - the shift key - to shut off the screen saver.
A single computer keyboard lay on the table, a short remote antenna jutting from its flank.
There were twelve places around the table (guests and observers, when they attended, sat in the extra chairs over against the walls), each one equipped with a computer keyboard and monitor slightly inset into the surface and covered, when not being used, by a polished grain top that matched the quality simulated wood on the rest of the table.
Paul reached across the tiny cubicle to the computer keyboard built into the bulkhead and tapped a key.
Finally, in an agony of reluctance, he sat at his little desk and began pecking on the computer keyboard with his long manicured fingers.
Lucy picked up the ringing phone and tucked it on her shoulder, her fingers barely pausing in their rapid typing on the computer keyboard.
Emile Chambord, who sat working alone at his computer keyboard on the otherwise unoccupied second floor of his building.
Yang immediately grabbed the computer keyboard and typed furiously for a few moments.
To his right was a solid wall, directly ahead of him was a large window overlooking the city, and to his left was a harassed secretary pounding away on her computer keyboard while trying to juggle three different phone lines.
In front of it was an oversized representation of a computer keyboard.