Have you ever wondered why the letters F and J have a line on your keyboard?

You probably never noticed, but if you’re looking at this from your computer and you look down, you’ll realize that all keyboards have it. Both the letter F as the letter J have a peculiar hairline and with relief on its keys, and in fact this is something that usually also has the key 5 of the number pad. Have you ever wondered why? In this article, we explain it to you.

This is more common than you think, and not just on keyboards, but on more devices as well. We are going to see why it happens and what is the real reason, since if you ask most users they will answer that either they had never noticed it, or they had always thought that it is to have a tactile reference of where to place their fingers on keyboard.

The stripe motif on the F and J keys

And no, it’s not for the blind. Like other devices such as a TV remote control or an elevator, this relief does not indicate a reference point for blind people since it would be a bit illogical because they would not see the computer screen in the same way. It is true that it can be useful if they need to write a text or use an adapted computer, so it can also be a help aimed at them, but it is not its main idea.

And it is that the reason has its logic and is as simple as surely you are imagining it. Its use is simply to guide us in the position of our fingers when writing and thus not having to take our eyes off the computer screen.

The F and J keys are chosen because they are the two extremes of the finger positions of both hands if we place them correctly on a QWERTY keyboard.

With this reference, it is very easy to position ourselves on the keyboard without having to look where the keys are. We will only have to support our fingers and check by touch if the place is correct.

Likewise, the number 5 would also be marked with this same stripe on devices that have a side numeric keypad. The reason would be the same. Indicate the center to guide you to the rest without having to visualize them.

This idea and custom comes from the time of typists. Before, writing on a machine was more complicated since if you made a mistake you had to throw away the paper and start over. That is why for them, having a reference that avoided errors was essential. They implemented this system to avoid making as many mistakes as possible, and when they saw that it worked, they continued to use it and leave it over time.

With the advent of technology, this curiosity was left because, although today making a mistake is much easier to correct, it also helps us to avoid them and write more correctly and quickly.

And you, did you know? Do you use it or put it into practice when you write, or do you simply think that it is useless today?

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