Num Lock is a key on the numeric keypad of most computer keyboards, used to switch the pad between number entry and arrow keys. It is a toggle key, like Caps Lock and Scroll Lock. Its state is commonly represented by an LED light built into the keyboard.
The Num Lock key exists because earlier 84-key IBM PC keyboards did not have arrows separate from the numeric keypad. Num Lock would be used to choose between the two functions. On some laptop computers, Num Lock keys are used to convert part of the main keyboard to act as a (slightly skewed) numeric keypad rather than letters.
These days since many computers have a full-size keyboard, Num Lock is rarely used for its original purpose, and ends up confusing the user if the computer has for some reason activated or deactivated the Num Lock key without the user being aware of it. This is less of an issue on most laptop computers, since activating the Num Lock function typically requires use of a function shift button Fn; however, if a full-size keyboard is plugged into a laptop keyboard, then the Num Lock function is normally OFF, and the user would have to activate the NUM lock function to use the numeric keypad for numeric entry.
Num Lock is also used in standard BIOS for extra input.
|Key Name||Numlock On||Numlock Off|
|Numpad 1||1||End key|
|Numpad 2||2||Down Arrow Key|
|Numpad 3||3||Page Down|
|Numpad 4||4||Left Arrow Key|
|Numpad 5||5||Clear Key|
|Numpad 6||6||Right Arrow Key|
|Numpad 7||7||Home key|
|Numpad 8||8||Up Arrow Key|
|Numpad 9||9||Page Up|
|Numpad 0|| 0 (zero) |
(comma on some keyboard layouts)
|Numpad .||. (dot)||Delete key|
Sounding off Q/Is it possible to make Windows XP sound a beep whenever the Caps Lock key is pressed? Sheila Davenport A/You can find the feature you want in the Windows Accessibility Options, and it will also sound a warning for the Num Lock and ScrLk key.
Mar 20, 2008; Byline: Tim Smith, Anthony Dhanendran Sounding off Q|Is it possible to make Windows XP sound a beep whenever the Caps Lock key is...