Nav cluster

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A nav cluster or sixkey is a cluster of six keys above the arrow keys on a standard keyboard, with keys for naviation. The keys are:

Insert Home Page
Up
Delete End Page
Down

The typical layout was popularised by the IBM Enhanced Keyboard, but similar nav clusters have existed on earlier keyboards.

Macintosh keyboards have a Help key or Fn key instead of an Insert key.

Usage

Delete key

The Delete key is used to delete the character to the right of the cursor. The cursor is stationary.

Insert key

In older programs, the Insert key is modal, swapping between overwrite mode and insert mode. In modern programs, insert mode is often the default or the only mode. Even though the key is used as a modal key, it is very seldom a latching or with a lock light.

In some older programs such as in the MS DOS prompt in Microsoft Windows, Control+Insert is used to Copy and Shift+Insert is used to Paste.

Home and End

When browsing a document, Home and End moves to the top and the bottom of the document, respectively. The typical usage for Home/End keys when editing text is to move the cursor to the beginning and the end of the line, respectively.

Text programs on Macintosh tend to use the browsing usages also in text editors and word-processing programs, moving the cursor to the first character or the last character in the text document.

Page up and Page Down

Page Up and Page Down moves one page's worth of text up and down respectively. Most programs for text editing or word processing move the cursor at well. Scrolling behaviour varies especially among text-mode programs.

In some programs the document can be moved without moving the cursor if the Alt or Control key is held down.

Alternate clusters

Single column

The de-facto standard for 75% form-factor keyboards is to have the nav keys in a single column fused together with other keys. This order is sometimes broken.

Home
Page
Up
Page
Down
End

Two columns

Some keyboards have a 2×3 arrangement to be able to save a column.

Logitech has many keyboards with the following arrangement, most with the Insert key displaced elsewhere:

Home End
Del Page
Up
Page
Dn

The Cherry G80-5000 has the following layout. The profile of top two rows is similar to G80-3000 and the bottom (home) row as G80-11800:

Insert Page
Up
Delete Page
Dn
Home End

Amiga

Amiga keyboards tended to have this two-key cluster above the cursor keys:

Del Help

A form of Home, End, Page Up and Page Down usages were available on Shift+cursor. In text-editing programs the convention was to move the cursor to the window edge first, and scroll only if on the edge.

Atari ST

The Atari ST (and TT) line had a cluster with cursor and nav keys in one:

Help Undo
Insert Clr
Home

A Delete key was to the left of the cluster, below Backspace and to the right of Return.

In arrow cluster

Another arrangement is to have cursor keys arranged in a cross with a Home key in the centre.

Symbols

On some keyboards, symbols are used together with or instead of text. The usage varies somewhat.

Key name Short name Macintosh ISO/IEC "standard"
Insert Ins Help or Fn
Delete Del
Home Home
End End
Page Up Pg Up
Page Down Pg Dn

See also