The numerical pad (which from now on we will call the “numpad”) might just seem pretty useful to call center agents, cashiers, and telecomm operators. In computers, we already have numbers above our letter keys. The numpad doesn’t seem to make much sense anymore, does it?
The numpad has many uses, too. It may seem vestigial at first, but if we take a look at some of its in-depth characteristics, we will see how important it can also be.
1.It is located to the right.
The numpad is located directly under the right hand. When other keyboards have no numpad, they nonetheless have function keys that switch the letter keymap into numbers themselves. This difference in orientation can be a great asset, given the opportunity, such as in gaming, fast business, and even documentation and transcription.
Imagine a keyboard without a numpad: you’d only be using your left hand to type down numbers!
2.It also has directional buttons.
In the Windows operating system, there is an accessibility feature that allows handicapped users to use the numpad as a mouse. Imagine – a mouse, on your keyboard. How cool is that?
Although not all of us are handicapped, this is also a big asset in gaming and fast business. For example, when in games, moving from one place to another using the directional buttons can be a hassle, but with the numpad, movement only means pressing straight away. In business, it is also the same, only that the target in question is the cursor for typing.
3.It provides a contingency set of keys.
Say, what if your number keys above your letters fail? What if your enter key does not click anymore? That is where the numpad jumps in: If you think the rest of your keyboard has failed, think again – the numpad might just be your hero.
This is not only true for the earlier mentioned keys. Even earlier mentioned, the mouse, might also be absent. With the accessibility options in Windows, moving the cursor might still be possible despite the lack of a proper working mouse. This is where the numpad truly shines: When all else fails, here comes the numpad.
There are probably more, but here is the truth: The numpad may look horrendous. It expands the keyboard far too much. It makes the keyboard look silly. But hey, the benefits of having a numpad far outweigh all of these cosmetic downsides, and soon, we will all realize, we really need a numpad after all.