Find detailed instructions for using a keyboard by looking at the documentation of operating systems at Windows.Microsoft.com and Support.Apple.com. Microsoft and Apple are two developers that provide keyboard instructions.
Microsoft's guide begins with a diagram that divides the keys to five categories. The typing keys take up the greatest amount of space and consist of letters, numerals, punctuation marks and symbols. The numeric keypad on the right is very similar to the typing keys but consist only of numerals and mathematical symbols. Its layout mimics that of a calculator.
Control keys are those that often change how other keys function. For instance, Ctrl is a control key that adds the copy function to the C key and the paste function to the V key. Some other control keys are Shift, Alt, ESC and the Windows keys. Navigation keys consist of the arrow keys and the six keys above them. They help navigate around documents and Web pages.
The function keys are above the typing keys. They perform different tasks depending on the application. For instance, F1 usually brings up a help database.
Apple indicates that Mac keyboards have six modifier keys. In addition to Shift, Caps Lock and Control, Mac keyboards have three keys that Windows desktop keyboards do not: Command, Option and Fn. Windows laptops usually have the Fn key.
Apple indicates that Mac and Windows keyboards are cross compatible. As such, users can use Windows keyboards on Mac systems and Mac keyboards on Windows systems. When done so, Alt and Windows keys perform the same function as the Option and Command keys and vice versa.