Escape key

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Names Escape, Esc
ISO/IEC symbol
X11 Escape
USB Keyboard ESCAPE (page 7, id 41)

The escape key is a keyboard key with a variety of functions depending on the operating system in question.

Escape is typically a single-unit key, but BTC in particular are noted for using 1.25-unit keycaps for escape.


  • In graphical desktop systems, escape typically cancels out of dialog boxes (on Mac OS, the alternative was command+.)
  • Within BBC BASIC, escape halts the running program, or cancels the current text input, and prints "Escape" on the screen; for professionalism and safety, this facility can easily be blocked by binding it to its ASCII value of 27
  • At the Windows and MS-DOS command line, it cancels the current text input (in this sense, similar to ^C at a UNIX or Linux command line)