Enter

Updated: 12/26/2023 by Computer Hope

Enter may refer to any of the following:

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1. Alternatively called the Return key, with a keyboard, the Enter key sends the cursor to the beginning of the next line or executes a command or operation. Most full-sized PC keyboards have two Enter keys, one above the right Shift key and another on the bottom right of the numeric keypad.

Tip The arrow symbol pointing down and to the left on the Enter key (shown in the picture above) is called a Return symbol or Return key symbol.

Where is the Enter key on the keyboard?

Below is an overview of a computer keyboard with the Enter keys highlighted in blue on the main keyboard and numeric keypad.

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Note

Apple keyboards have a "Return" key next to the keyboard and an "Enter" key next to the number pad. Chromebooks have an "Enter" key in the same location as a PC keyboard.

What if the Enter key goes to the next paragraph?

In programs such as Microsoft Word, when you press the Enter key, it may move to the next paragraph of the document instead of the next line. In these programs, to go to the next line, press the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Enter instead of only Enter.

What is the arrow on the Enter key?

Sometimes called an elbow arrow, the Enter key arrow is what happens when you press the key. In other words, when you press Enter, the text cursor moves down to the next line and to the left.

How is the Enter key used and what is its function?

The Enter key is used to return to the next line or start a new paragraph. For example, when I press the Enter key at the end of this sentence, it starts the next paragraph. If you press the Enter key twice, it adds a blank line between the lines. Below are other examples and places where the Enter key is used on a computer.
  • Return to the next line or start a new paragraph in a word processor.
  • Submit a form. For example, on all search engines, when entering anything, press Enter instead of moving your hand the mouse and clicking the search button.
  • Activate a button or another object. For example, when navigating with a keyboard, press Tab until a button is highlighted, and once highlighted, press Enter to press the button.
  • Open a web page after a URL (uniform resource locator) is entered into a browser address bar. For example, type ryanhunasmith.com in the address bar and press Enter to open the Computer Hope home page.
Note

The Enter key and Return key activate whatever is highlighted or selected. So, unless you're typing, you should not press the Enter key without knowing what is selected. For example, if the OK button is selected and you press Enter, it would be the same as clicking the OK button.

Which Enter key should I press?

On keyboards that have two Enter keys, it may be confusing for some users to know which Enter key to press. Both Enter keys perform the same function. Therefore, use the key that is easiest for you to use. However, we recommend you press the Enter key closest to all the other letters when typing text. When entering numbers, use the Enter key on the numeric keypad.

Practice using the Enter key

Below is a textarea field to practice using the Enter key. Use this interactive text area to place an Enter in the middle and end of the line. In this example, if you want to start a new paragraph, click at the end of the sentence and press Enter twice.

How many Enter keys are on the keyboard?

There are two Enter keys on a computer keyboard, one to the right of the main keyboard and the other on the bottom right corner of the numeric keypad. Keyboards and laptops without a numeric keypad only have one Enter key on the keyboard. Apple keyboards may have a Return key and an Enter key. Although these keys perform the same function, if you were counting keys that say "Enter" on an Apple keyboard, it would be only one.

What keyboard shortcuts use the Enter key?

Below are links to keyboard shortcuts that use the Enter key.

What are the symbol codes for an Enter character?

The codes for the symbol that sometimes represents Enter, which is the carriage return, are 13 in ASCII (American Standard Code for Information Interchange) and 0D in hexadecimal.

2. In general, enter or entering refers to when data or information is placed (inserted) into the computer. For example, when searching for something in a search engine like Google, you enter a query or set of words to find more information.

How do you enter information into the computer?

Information is entered into a computer using an input device. The computer keyboard is a good example of an input device to enter information into the computer.

Input, Keyboard terms, Page Break, Return