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This is the {{key}} template primarily designed to illustrate keys and keystrokes on a computer keyboard. With additional parameters, a single template can even illustrate a combination of multiple simultaneous keystrokes. A sequence of keystrokes, on the other hand, need to be demonstrated with separate templates.


{{key|A}} → A

As lower-case alphabetic characters a–z do not appear on keyboards, they should not be used as parameters.

Keystroke combinations

To illustrate keystroke combinations, just use extra parameters:

{{key|Alt|P}} → Alt
{{key|Ctrl|Alt|Del}} → Ctrl

When you feed several key names to this template, it adds a "+" (or whatever the contents of the optional chain parameter) with no spaces around. This means it won't line wrap. But when you show key combinations for instance in a table that might cause items to be too wide. Instead manually build the key combination with spaces around the "+" so it can line wrap:

{{key|Ctrl}} + {{key|key|Alt}} + {{key|key|Del}} → Ctrl + Alt + Del
{{key|Ctrl|Alt|Del|5=chain=&#32;+&#32;}} → Ctrl

To illustrate sequences where all keys do not need to be pressed simultaneously, the plus signs can be ommitted by setting chain=. For example, in most Windows systems in North America and Western Europe, Alt codes can be used to insert the plus-minus sign (±) by holding down the Alt key while typing 0177 with the numeric keypad:

{{key|Alt|0}}{{key|1|7|7|chain{{=}}}} → Alt1

An example of a use case where more than 5 might be used is explaining usage of a macro (keyboard shortcut) created by a third-party application:

{{key|Ctrl|Alt|Shift|Win|Menu|fn|L}} → Ctrl


If there is an article about the key you can wikilink the key's name like any other wiki text. Like this:

  • [[Alt key|Alt]]Alt

If you are wikilinking the keys, please ensure that you are piping to the correct page (e.g. [[Control key|Ctrl]] instead of [[Ctrl]], which leads to a disambiguation page.

Wiki markup characters

Some wiki markup characters, like the pipe symbol, the semicolon and the equals sign, need to be entered using the !,

templates or as an HTML entity &#124;, &#59;, &#61; respectively
  • {{key|&#124;}} → |
  • {{key|&#59;}} → ;
  • {{key|&#61;}} → =

However, if the characters are marked as wikilinks, they can be entered as such:

  • [[|]]Key
  • [[;]];
  • [[=]]=

Most markup characters also have aliases:

  • {{key|pipe}} → Pipe
  • {{key|semicolon}} → Semicolon
  • {{key|equals}} → Equals
  • {{key|colon}} → Colon
  • {{key|asterisk}} → Asterisk
  • {{key|hash}} → Hash

Key symbols

Some key names have a fitting Unicode character. This template automatically adds such "icons" to the following key names among others.

  • {{key|Shift}} → Shift
  • {{key|Tab}} → Tab
  • {{key|Enter}} → Enter
  • {{key|Option}} → Option
  • {{key|Opt}} → Opt
  • {{key|Command}} → Command
  • {{key|Cmd}} → Cmd
  • {{key|Caps Lock}} → Caps Lock
  • {{key|Scroll Lock}} → Scroll Lock
  • {{key|Up}} → Up
  • {{key|Down}} → Down
  • {{key|Left}} → Left
  • {{key|Right}} → Right

There are no characters for the Windows key and Menu key.

  • {{key|Win}} → Win
  • {{key|Menu}} → Menu

Video games

Video game controllers often have specialized input labels that do not map easily. The following are mappings for various game consoles and input features.

Directional input

The following should only be used when the input sequence uses something other than the primary input or mixes input between directional devices.

  • {{key|l-down}} → L-down
  • {{key|c-left}} → C-left
  • {{key|r-up}} → R-up

Stick specific diagonals are also supported:

  • {{key|l-nw}} → L-nw
  • {{key|c-se}} → C-se
  • {{key|r-ne}} → R-ne