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6 Tips For Using Mechanical Keyboards Without Arrow Keys

6 Tips For Using Mechanical Keyboards Without Arrow Keys

How do I navigate without arrow keys?

Most people that use keyboards without arrow keys don’t have the number pad on the right side of the board.

The distance from the enter key to the mouse is further than if there were arrow keys present for use, but the simplicity of navigating a page with a mouse trumps the task of having to move the hand an extra few inches (versus if they were to use arrow keys for navigation).

What is a mechanical keyboard without arrow keys called?

Mechanical keyboards without arrow keys are called “60% keyboards”. They are called this because they occupy only 60% of the space of a regular mechanical keyboard.

Are arrow keys that important?

Arrow keys might be important to someone who is used to typing on a full keyboard.

Full keyboard may also be important to people with specific job duties, such as data entry. If there are no arrow keys, it is safe to assume there is no number pad either.

Not having a number pad would make the job of a data entry clerk much more difficult because they would have to use the row of numbers at the top of the keyboard, which is much less efficient than a number pad.

It is also very simple to navigate an Excel document with arrow keys, so people that work in Excel regularly may find that using a mouse for these tasks is tedious.

However, for people that are just getting started with keyboarding or for people that don’t have duties that include tasks such as numeric data entry, the adjustment effort won’t be very difficult and it shouldn’t take too much time to fully adjust to a 60% keyboard.

The mouse can be used to navigate documents considerably easier than with arrow keys.

The user has to sacrifice a small amount of travel from the keyboard to the mouse (versus virtually no travel to arrow keys on a full keyboard), but the simplicity of using a mouse to navigate the page makes it worth it for many keyboard users.

Does not having arrow keys change anything?

Not having arrow keys would also mean that the navigation keys (insert, home, page up, etc.) would not be present in addition to the function keys and the number pad.

As a result, the keyboard would likely resemble that of a small to medium sized laptop.

Lastly, most keys on a 60% keyboard would likely have a secondary function, much like the numbers above the letters on a keyboard that utilize the shift key to type the symbolic characters of a keyboard.

People that don’t use arrow keys usually fall into one of two groups.

The first group consists of people who don’t use arrow keys much in their career or at home, so they don’t usually miss them when they acquire a keyboard that does not have dedicated arrow keys.

The second group consists of people that learn to use the FN layer of arrow keys as efficiently as they would a dedicated arrow keypad.

Because they can learn to become efficient without arrow keys, these people do not miss a full keyboard when switching to a 60% keyboard.

What do you do if your keyboard does not have arrow keys?

If your keyboard does not have arrow keys, you could test it out first and see if the 60%
keyboard does the job for you. Many people never find themselves missing the arrow keys.

If you find that it would be much easier to have a full keyboard, you could always return your 60% keyboard or sell it to a second hand tech shop, and buy a full keyboard.

People with 60% keyboards often find using the FN or function key an irritating task when trying to type symbols, and end up buying a full keyboard.

Do all keyboards have arrow keys?

Most mechanical keyboards have arrow keys, but not all keyboards have them. Most keyboards include them because they occupy the empty space below the navigation keys with something useful (i.e. arrow keys).