Chromebook Keyboard

In eighth grade typing class I became familiar with the QWERTY keyboard, named for the sequence of letters on the left side of the top row. On computer keyboards, these four rows of letters and numbers are surrounded by control keys. Notice the left, right and circular arrows on the top row to assist web browsing: next page, previous page, and refresh page. The next two keys enlarge and reduce windows. Then two reduce or increase brightness. On the right side, three speaker symbols control mute, softer, and louder.

Search Key

Enter is in the middle of the column of keys on the far right side. Opposite enter is the search key, represented by a magnifying glass. If you see the search key symbol on a keyboard you can be sure you are looking at a Chromebook. On a PC or Mac the shift-lock key is in that position.

Press the magnifying glass to open a window with a blinking bar in the Google search box. A set of icons below the search box will be discussed later. If you type “dictionary” (without the quotes) and press enter you should see a list of websites that provide dictionary definitions.

Navigation

Use the up arrow, represented by a carat (^), and down arrow keys in the BOTTOM RIGHT corner of the Chromebook keyboard to scroll through the list of websites to dictionary.com. You should see a small blue triangle left of your place in the list. Press enter to select that entry. (From here on I will just say ‘enter’ ). Tap the down arrow once to produce a blinking bar in the data entry box. Enter “website” to see the definition.

What happens when you press the arrow at the TOP LEFT of the keyboard? The previous web page appears, replacing the definition. Press the left arrow again to go back to the list of dictionaries, or press the right arrow to return to the definition. Do you see the difference between the two sets of arrow keys?

History: touch typing

Letters on the QWERTY keyboard were arranged to keep the mechanical keys of early typewriters from getting tangled when struck by a speedy typist. Starting with index fingers on f and j of the middle row–feel the small bumps on those keys–a good typist could type 60 words per minute or more. Search for touch typing free course to learn to type faster and with fewer errors. I recommend “How to Type”.

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