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What is the Shift Key and what is it for?

What is the Shift Key and what is it for?

 What is the Shift Key?

The Shift Key or shift key is a modifier key on the personal computer keyboard represented by an up arrow ⇧. Modifier keys, such as the Shift key, are special keys that when pressed together with another key perform a special action.

The name of the shift key comes from the old typewriters, in these you had to hold down this key to write the character or symbol that some keys had or write the capital letter of the letter we pressed, shift is an English word that means change .

As on typewriters, all keyboards have two shift keys , one on each side of the keyboard. It does not matter if the keyboard is a compact desktop, TKL type , complete with a numeric keypad  or a laptop keyboard , the language the keyboard is in is also irrelevant, you always have these two .

The shift keys are at the beginning and end of the second row of keys starting at the bottom of the keyboard, one of them is located on the left side of the keyboard just below the Caps Lock key . On the right it is below the enter key and the key with the character Ç , just above the left Shift key we have the capital lock key, and on the right it will depend on whether we have a compact, complete or laptop keyboard.

If we have a laptop keyboard or a compact desktop keyboard , the right Shift key is usually just above the arrow keys , but if we have a full keyboard with or without a numeric keypad (TKL), it is usually above the right Control key.

What is it for?

The shift key is used, mainly, to write the capital letter of the alphabet , we hold down this key and press any of the letters of the alphabet on our keyboard and it will write this same letter in uppercase, for example, if we hold down shift and press G Geeknetic will be capitalized .

It is also used to write the character that is located above the numbers or the character that is above the keys that already write a character . So if we press the shift key and the 4 will write the dollar symbol $.

The shift key behaves the opposite if we have the caps lock activated (just above the left shift key ), in this case write all the alphabet keys directly in uppercase, but if we press the shift key, it will appear in lowercase. This will not happen with the symbols above the numbers or those that are above the symbol or character keys,  although we have the caps lock activated, it will continue writing the numbers or symbols at the bottom of the key, having to press shift if we want to write any .

The Shift key has more utilities, in addition to the above, it is used on many occasions to perform keyboard shortcuts with which to carry out actions simply by pressing a combination of keys. This is something very comfortable when we need speed in the execution of some daily tasks and is that if we learn these shortcuts with the keyboard we can do them in a jiffy. In addition, you can customize combinations with the shift key to run programs, take a look at this guide .

Since modern keyboards only have function keys up to F12, another utility of the Shift key is to modify the function keys , we will use Shift + F1 to press F13 and so on.

It is also used to select several files or a block of text , by clicking on a file with the Shift key pressed, we can click + shift on a lower file to select all the intermediates. In the case of a text editor, clicking + shift will select all the text from the cursor to where we click.

These and many other keyboard shortcuts can be performed with the Shift key . The following guide shows all the combinations and commands with Shift in Windows 10.