Control key

Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Financial, Wikipedia.

control key

[kən′trōl ‚kē]
(computer science)
A special key on a computer keyboard which, when depressed together with another key, generates a different signal than would be produced by the second key alone.

Control key

Abbreviated "Ctrl" or "Ctl." A modifier key that is pressed with a letter or digit key to command the computer. The caret symbol is a common symbol for Control; for example, ^Y means Ctrl-Y.

In most Windows applications, holding down Control and pressing the left or right Arrow key moves the cursor to the previous or next word. Likewise, Ctrl-B, Ctrl-I and Ctrl-U turn bold, italic and underline on and off. The Mac uses two modifier keys; for example, Option/Arrow moves the cursor, while Command-B, I and U toggle bold, italic and underline. Control is used to edit Mac and Unix command lines; for example, Ctrl-L clears the screen. See Command key.

Control Vs. Caps Lock
On the original IBM PC in 1981, the Control key was placed left of the A key. In 1985, IBM swapped the location of the frequently used Control key with the rarely used Caps Lock key, making keyboarding more cumbersome, especially for touch typists. Like sheep, all keyboard manufacturers followed suit. Fortunately, the Control key can be restored to its former location using Registry hacks, custom keyboard control panels or programmable keyboards. See Alt key and PC keyboard.

Swap the Keys
This Microsoft keyboard control panel restores the Control key to its original location. This is an easy way to make the switch.

Updated Key Caps
This programmable keyboard came with a "puller" to pop off the old Control and Caps Lock key caps and exchange them for new ones. Most keyboards do not come with this bonus. See Avant Stellar keyboard.

Even the Mac
Mac keyboards use the same Caps Lock location as PC keyboards, but the OS X control panel allows the modifier keys to be easily changed by the user.
References in periodicals archive ?
Product/Service/Works Keywords: Four drawer filing cabinets with dual control key lock system
He told the Mirror: "She will be able to look at control keys and the eye gaze will be able to communicate with us.
The Roller-Mouse is placed in the center of the control keys, so there's no need to reach away to grab a mouse which lets you keep both hands on the wrist rest.
What is believed as the Nexus 6 pattern this 2014 will reportedly keep the feature that became the device's unique trademark - the LG G3 will boast of the same rear control keys that were introduced with the LG G2 in 2013.
BlackBerry will release a low-cost phone in Indonesia in April and plans a broader release of a phone that restores a beloved row of control keys with a track pad.
Master Keys, Grand Master Keys, and Great Grand Master Keys are supported (as are Change and Control Keys which every interchangeable core must have).
The intercom section features 16 freely assignable control keys with individual level controls.
Manual control keys for wire feed and travel direction allow fast access to frequently used settings.
Similarly, after pressing the virtual music key, the phone keypad disappears and is replaced by control keys for the music player.
Big on sound, this music focused handset boosts dedicated music control keys, over 4GB of memory capable of storing up to 3,000 songs over 18 hours of music playback time.
The balance features a sturdy housing and control keys that have been built for durability; they feature a positive click action that lets the user know when a function has been activated.