Numeric Keypads

Written by Sierra Rein
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One of the last areas of the keyboard to memorize is the line of numerical buttons lying at the top of the keys. A numeric keypad consists of a set of separate that contain the numbers zero through nine, a decimal point, and a few other functional buttons. These digits are arranged as on an adding machine, allowing individuals to type in large amounts of numerical data easily and quickly. This is great news for people who have a lot of number entry work to do, like accountants, secretaries, scientists, students and office data entry workers.

Depending on the design and operational parameters of the host keyboard, most numeric keypads function in two different modes, which a user can switch between using the Num Lock key. In numeric mode, the buttons represent numbers; in cursor control mode, the two, four, six and eight buttons turn into arrow keys. However, each number keypad can come with a completely different format from the norm.

A large percentage of modern keyboards, not counting those that come built into laptops, already contain numeric pads. There also are a wide variety of portable keypads that can plug directly into any USB or PS/2 port available on the keyboard or computer tower. These are great alternatives for data entry workers who need a keypad for their travel laptop, those who do not feel the need to purchase an entirely separate keyboard for their work, or left-handed typists who wish to place a keypad on the left rather than the right-hand side of the board. A separate numeric pad is usually very low in price and often is designed to be compatible with both PC/Windows-based and Apple/Mac OSX machines.

Programmable Numeric Keypads Take Customization to a New Level

Along with the numeric buttons, there are also a wide variety of keypads that contain programmable buttons. With the help of a computer software driver, the computer user can set up each button on the pad to perform a specific series of pre-programmed commands or keystrokes. This can cut down typing time and reduce the possibility of developing repetitive stress injuries like Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.


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