Numeric keypad

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A numeric keypad or number pad, also numpad, ten-key pad or simply tenkey, is a section of a keyboard intended for entry of numbers and similar characters. "Numeric keypad" can also refer to a standalone numeric keypad used to complement a compact keyboard that lacks the number pad area.

The classic layout of 3×3 digits with the digits '7' '8' '9' on the top row and a larger '0' key at the bottom was introduced with the Sundstrand Adding Machine, invented by David Sundstrand in 1911. The Sundstrand company's machine was distributed by the strong typewriter manufacturer Underwood, became popular and set the standard which was later picked up for general calculators and computer keyboards.[1]

On keyboards meant for the IBM Personal Computer and compatibles, the numeric keypad has a second function that includes cursor keys and related navigational functions. This functionality was introduced with the IBM Model F keyboard, which lacked any dedicated navigational keys. The IBM Enhanced Keyboard moved this functionality to a dedicated clusters of editing and navigation keys, but retained the ability for the numeric keypad to be used for navigation, which has remained a standard behaviour of PC keyboards to this day.

A keyboard without a numeric keypad is known as a tenkeyless ("TKL") or occasionally Space-Saver keyboard.


The standard numeric keypad is a cluster of keys on the right-hand side of the keyboard. The exact keys found in this cluster varies between computer types; in addition to the digits 0–9 and the decimal point (or decimal comma), "calculator" keys (+, /, - and *) are typical, along with an additional enter key.
An embedded, or integrated, numeric keypad is an implementation of a numeric keypad as a layer mapped to the right-hand side of the main keyboard cluster. Typically, this is arranged such that the primary and numeric keypad layers share the 7, 8 and 9 keys of the number row. Embedded numeric keypads are a standard feature of laptops with a dedicated numeric keypad cluster. Typically with integrated numeric keypads, they are toggled with num lock and only provide numeric entry. In some cases, they are instead toggled with a pad lock key, and num lock switches between numeric and navigation entry as it does on a full-sized keyboard.
Numeric keypads can also be found as standalone units. These are designed to supplement laptops and tenkeyless keyboards, and have an advantage that they can be placed on either side of the keyboard. This allows the user to have the advantages of both a numeric keypad and a tenkeyless keyboard.


See also