Apple Keyboard - Numeric Keypad - Rectangle with cross on it - what key is this?

Discussion in 'Apple' started by glawrie, Mar 13, 2012.

  1. glawrie

    glawrie Guest

    Been using the standard aluminum usb keyboard with numeric keypad (GB
    version). I notice that on the keypa (top left, immediately below the
    F16 key, and to left of = key) is a button that has a rectangle
    overlaid with a cross on the key-cap. No idea what it is for… or what
    the symbol is meant to represent.

    Anyone know?
    glawrie, Mar 13, 2012
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  2. glawrie

    Jim Gibson Guest

    ITYM "top right"?
    I have the wired USB aluminum keyboard with keypad, and that key is
    labeled "Clear" on mine. I don't know what it does, however. While
    typing this message, it acts like a delete button. That may depend upon
    the application. It doesn't do anything in TextEdit, for example.
    Jim Gibson, Mar 13, 2012
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  3. The symbol represents "clear key":

    Presumably applications that are intended for use with a numeric
    keypad use it to clear the current input field.

    Under X11 it sends the Escape character.

    -- Richard
    Richard Tobin, Mar 13, 2012
  4. glawrie

    Tom Stiller Guest

    It's the same symbol in the Keyboard Viewer and it looks to me like it
    means clear the screen.
    Tom Stiller, Mar 13, 2012
  5. glawrie

    Erik Guest

    On the US extended keyboard, the key in question is marked 'clear'

    The only thing I know of it doing is clearing the calculator app...

    Erik, Mar 13, 2012
  6. glawrie

    Tim Streater Guest

    The keypad is top-right, but the key in question is top-left of the
    Tim Streater, Mar 13, 2012
  7. It is the Clear key.

    The symbol is similar to the one that appears on some keyboards* for the
    delete / backspace key (a rectangle with triangluar left edge left side
    and an X in it) and the keypad Del / forward delete key (a rectangle with
    triangluar left edge right side and an X in it).

    Backspace: (third symbol in list)

    Forward Delete:
    < Forward Delete.png>

    This makes sense, since:

    - left pointing rectangle = delete letters to the left
    - right pointing rectangle = delete letters to the right
    - non-pointing rectangle = delete everything

    What the numberpad keys actually do, or do not do, often depends on what
    function each application's programmer set them up to do - as someone else
    posted, the Clear key clears the Calculator's screen just like pressing
    the C on (most) physical calculators.

    * Note: I have seen key images where the backspace and forward delete
    rectangle symbols are (supposedly) swapped over - I'm not sure if that's
    an error in the image description or if some makers have done an "Apple
    scrolling" ;o) and intentionally swapped them.

    Helpful Harry :eek:)
    Helpful Harry, Mar 13, 2012
  8. glawrie

    glawrie Guest

    Great - thanks everyone! Much clearer now :) (sorry a pun I couldn't
    resist). Not sure why they couldn't put "Clear" on the key in the GB
    market too. Still, knowing it is the clear key is useful - even if it
    doesn't always work…
    glawrie, Mar 14, 2012
  9. glawrie

    David Empson Guest

    Apple's UK keyboards are based on the ISO layout (which differs from the
    North American layout, e.g. in the shape of the Return key) and follow
    the same conventions as Apple's non-English keyboards, by using symbols
    instead of names on most keys.

    For other English-speaking countries, Apple's policy seems to be to use
    the North American keyboard if the currency is called "dollar", thus
    Australia and New Zealand have the same keyboard as the US, but the UK
    doesn't because there is no UK Pound symbol (£) on the US keyboard.
    David Empson, Mar 14, 2012
  10. glawrie

    Sara Guest

    It means 'clear'. I always found it very useful for emptying a database
    field in Filemaker. I really miss it now I have a mini wireless KB.
    Sara, Mar 14, 2012
  11. glawrie

    John Varela Guest


    I have been using one of these for over a year and am happy with it.
    In addition to the numeric keypad it has function keys F13 thru F17,
    Page Up, Page Down, Line Up, Line Down, Forward Delete, and (ta-da!)
    a Clear key.
    John Varela, Mar 15, 2012
  12. glawrie

    Wes Groleau Guest

    Often when I tab into a field, the whole field is highlighted,
    and delete or backspace, either one, will clear it. Or just type
    one character and then backspace.

    Wes Groleau

    “In the field of language teaching, Method A is the logical
    contradiction of Method B: if the assumptions from which
    A claims to be derived are correct, then B cannot work,
    and vice versa. Yet one colleague is getting excellent
    results with A and another is getting comparable results
    with B. How is this possible?â€
    — Earl W. Stevick
    Wes Groleau, Mar 15, 2012
  13. glawrie

    TaliesinSoft Guest

    The keyboard I've wanted is a wireless one like the wired aluminum
    keyboard but without the number keyboard.
    TaliesinSoft, Mar 15, 2012
  14. Or Command A to perform a Select All and then Backspace.

    Helpful Harry :eek:)
    Helpful Harry, Mar 15, 2012
  15. Apple now ships the wireless mini keyboard as standard (unless you swap it
    for the wired keyboard with keypad, and some resellers won't do that). You
    can also buy both keyboards separately. For some strange reason Apple
    stopped making the wired mini-keyboard and doesn't seem to want to make a
    wireless keyboard with keypad.

    Personally I prefer the wired keyboard because it has the numberpad,
    separate cursor keys, and the handy USB ports on the sides ... plus it
    looks better sitting in front of a 27" iMac or large screen (the
    mini-keyboard looks like silly toy).

    Helpful Harry :eek:)
    Helpful Harry, Mar 15, 2012
  16. glawrie

    TaliesinSoft Guest

    Adding a Magic Trackpad to the side of the wireless mini-keyboard
    eliminates that "too small" look.
    TaliesinSoft, Mar 15, 2012
  17. Unfortuantely it's not just the physical size of the mini-keyboard. It
    also looks cramped thanks to the cursor keys being squashed into one
    corner and it is annoyingly missing the Control key on the right side.

    Helpful Harry :eek:)
    Helpful Harry, Mar 15, 2012
  18. glawrie

    Sara Guest

    Oh of course there are workarounds, I just liked having the one key that
    would do it. Ooo - that's a thought. Can I make a different key do that?
    One of the F keys perhaps. I shall furtle.
    Sara, Mar 15, 2012
  19. glawrie

    Sara Guest

    Thanks, I was looking at one of those a couple of months back, but I saw
    a few bad reviews so didn't bother. I'll take another look.
    Sara, Mar 15, 2012
  20. glawrie

    TaliesinSoft Guest

    On 2012-03-15 06:21:53 +0000, Helpful Harry said:

    [in response to my having stated]
    I guess I've just become accustomed to the "small" keyboard, using the
    left side fn, control, option, and command keys with my left hand and
    the cursor keys with my right hand, and ignoring the command and option
    keys to the right of the space bar. And as I have suggested, I've
    become an avid user of the Magic Trackpad which I keep to the immediate
    right of the keyboard, such that they appear as a single device.
    TaliesinSoft, Mar 15, 2012
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