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Toggle Key

Example: "The Caps Lock toggle key capitalizes letters typed on a keyboard."

A toggle key is used to alternate the input mode of a group of keys on a keyboard. Some examples include Caps Lock, Insert, Num Lock, and Scroll Lock. Caps Lock is the most commonly used toggle key, and capitalizes all letter input when turned on. The Insert key toggles the text entry mode between insert (which inserts characters) and overtype (which overwrites characters). Num Lock makes sure numbers are input from the numeric keypad and Scroll Lock allows the arrow keys to scroll through the contents of a window.

All keyboards include the Caps Lock key and most keyboards include Num Lock. The Insert and Scroll Lock keys are found on many keyboards as well, but they are rarely used an not supported by all operating systems.

First Published: April 1, 2010
Last Updated: April 1, 2010

Definition from the PC Glossary