Shift key on the keyboard: The function and location of the Shift key

Deepak Gupta
Deepak Gupta January 29, 2022
Updated 2022/01/29 at 5:35 AM

Everyone knows it, the button, which has a rather strange-sounding name in German, and yet most people know little about it. We are talking about the so-called shift key, which translates into jargon as well Shift key names. But if you’re not a keyboard virtuoso, you might find it harder to place them in the right place. Let alone that you know what you need them for. However, since it is necessary for some very useful key combinations, we will explain below where you can find Shift on the keyboard and what other functions it fulfills.

The Shift key: where it hides on the keyboard

In various instructions for your computer or in video games you have certainly been asked to press the shift key for certain functions and commands. Even if you just want to write an e-mail or if correct capitalization is important to you on the Internet, you won’t be able to avoid the shift key. Because of this, it’s important that you know where it is in the first place.

By default, the shift key is duplicated on German keyboards. Because you can find it on the left side, directly above Ctrl and then further to the right, almost in the middle if you count the number block on the keyboard, below the Enter button. Their symbol is always an upward-pointing, empty arrow.

The background of the Shift key is as simple as it is quick to explain. In English “to shift” means something like “to move”, which refers to one of the original functions of a typewriter. With this, the print roller is raised or the type lever basket lowered by pressing the shift key. Only then can capital letters and special characters be used. Of course, this all happens in digital form on modern computers.

Shift key functions

We often use the shift key completely unconsciously without questioning its function. But the button, which is also often referred to colloquially as the shift key, can do much more than change upper and lower case letters.

Most often we squeeze them together with another key. The shift key is usually pressed first and we hold it down to tell the computer that something else will follow. Not only capital letters, but also all kinds of special characters are printed on our virtual piece of paper.

But the shift key is also used for very specific computer functions, such as starting the task manager (Ctrl + Shift + Esc) or taking a screenshot (Win + Shift + S). In a video game, she can also help. Many games let you trigger various special functions by pressing Shift in combination with another button. You can also easily enable double assignment of individual keys with Shift.

Conclusion: The Shift key always helps you

As you’ve probably already noticed, knowing the existence, function and location of the Shift key on your keyboard is a huge advantage. With it you can not only choose between upper and lower case letters, but also use other functions of your PC. We also explain what to do once you have misaligned your keyboard.

Sources: own research, Wintipps

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