Test Your Knowledge: Delete Key versus Backspace Key

True or False?

The Delete keyboard key performs the exact same function as the Backspace keyboard key.

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Answer: FALSE


The Delete Key

keyboard-delete
The “Delete” key performs a forward delete – pressing the Delete key when your cursor is inserted in a line of text it will delete text located in front of the cursor, one character or space at a time.

For example, if you place the cursor in front of the letter “j” in the word “jumps”… fox-cursor-before…and press the Delete key once, the “j” character is deleted. To delete a full word in one keystroke, hold down the Ctrl key before pressing the Delete key. Any number of spaces after the word will also be deleted.

Delete:

fox-delete-after

Ctrl + Delete:fox-ctrl-delete-after

What Else Can the Delete Key Be Used For?

Besides the well-known “Control-Alt-Delete” (Ctrl+Alt+Del) keyboard shortcut – used to: interrupt a function -or- access the Welcome screen to:

>>> brings up the Windows Task Manger

(“Ctrl+Shift+Esc” –bypass the Welcome screen to access the Task Manager directly)

>>>lock the computer

(“Windows logo key+L” –bypass the Welcome screen to lock the computer immediately)

>>>switch users

>>>log off

(“Windows logo key+then press the RIGHT ARROW key three times and the letter “L”” –bypass the Welcome screen to log off the computer immediately)

>>>change your Windows login password

The Delete key has one other keyboard shortcut function. You can also move an item or several items to the Recycling Bin by pressing the Delete key with the item(s) selected. Warning: Pressing and holding the Shift key before pressing the Delete key will permanently delete selected items. These files will not be moved to the Recycle Bin.

Delete:file-delete-key
Shift + Delete:file-shift-delete-key


The Backspace Key

keyboard-backspace

The “Backspace” key performs a backward delete – pressing the Backspace key when your cursor is inserted in a line of text will delete text located behind the cursor one character or space at a time.

For example, if you place the cursor in front of the letter “j” in the word “jumps”…

fox-cursor-before…and press the Backspace key once, the space before the “j” character is deleted. To delete a full word in one keystroke, hold down the Ctrl key before pressing the Backspace key. Any number of spaces before the word will also be deleted.

Backspace: fox-backspace-after 
Ctrl + Backspace:fox-ctrl-backspace-after

What Else Can the Backspace Key Be Used For?

In a web browser you can press the Backspace key to go back a page.

In Windows Explorer, if you’ve drilled down several levels in a folder, you can press the Backspace key to switch back to the Parent folder.

WindowsExplorer

-Kelly Marshall,
Director of Communications,
Sector Learning Solutions

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