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control key - Computer Definition
Abbreviated "Ctrl" or "Ctl." A modifier key that is pressed with a letter or digit key to command the computer. The caret symbol is a common symbol for Control; for example, ^Y means Ctrl-Y. In most Windows applications, holding down Control and pressing the left or right Arrow key moves the cursor to the previous or next word. Likewise, Ctrl-B, Ctrl-I and Ctrl-U turn bold, italic and underline on and off. The Mac uses two modifier keys; for example, Option/Arrow moves the cursor, while Command-B, I and U toggle bold, italic and underline. Control is used to edit Mac and Unix command lines; for example, Ctrl-L clears the screen. See Command key. Control Vs. Caps Lock On the original IBM PC in 1981, the Control key was placed left of the A key. In 1985, IBM swapped the location of the frequently used Control key with the rarely used Caps Lock key, making keyboarding more cumbersome, especially for touch typists. Like sheep, all keyboard manufacturers followed suit. Fortunately, the Control key can be restored to its former location using Registry hacks, custom keyboard control panels or programmable keyboards. See Alt key and PC keyboard.