World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Space bar

Article Id: WHEBN0000933806
Reproduction Date:

Title: Space bar  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Keyboard layout, AltGr key, Command key, Alt key, Computer keyboard
Collection: Computer Keys, Whitespace
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

Space bar

The space bar is on the bottom center of the keyboard

The space bar, spacebar, blank, or space key,[1] is a key on a typewriter or alphanumeric keyboard in the form of a horizontal bar in the lowermost row, significantly wider than other keys. Its main purpose is to conveniently enter a space, e.g., between words during typing.

A typical space bar key is very large, enough so that a thumb from either hand can use it, and is almost always found on the bottom row of standard keyboard layouts.

History

Originally (on early typewriters dating back to the late 19th century) the "bar" was literally that, a metal bar running across the full width of the keyboard (or even wider, and even surrounding it) that triggered the carriage advance without also firing any of the typebars towards the platen. Later examples gradually shrank and developed into their current more ergonomic form as a wide, centrally located but otherwise apparently normal "key", as typewriter (and computer) keyboards began to incorporate additional function keys and were more deliberately "styled". Although it varies by keyboard type, the space bar usually lies between the Alt keys (or Command keys on Macintosh keyboards) and below the letter keys: C, V, B, N and M on a standard QWERTY keyboard.

Some early typewriter and particularly computer keyboards used a different method of inserting spaces, typically a smaller, less distinct "space" key which was also often set in a less central position, e.g. the Hansen Writing Ball, Hammond typewriters or the Sinclair ZX Spectrum and Jupiter Ace ranges. The earliest known example, Sholes and Glidden typewriter used a lever to provide space between words,[2] placing the invention of the inset spacebar after 1843. However these methods were also usually just one part of similarly idiosyncratic full keyboard layouts, designed more to cope with particular technical requirements or limitations than with any sense of user friendliness and as such met with limited success, sometimes being dropped even on later models in the same line (e.g. Sinclair Spectrum 128k and "Plus" lines, which adopted more "normally styled" keyboards with plastic keytops and a wide, central spacebar in place of the earlier rubber "chiclet" keys and small, offset space key).

Other uses

Depending on the operating system, the space bar used with a modifier key such as the control key may have functions such as resizing or closing the current window, half-spacing, or even backspacing. On web browsers, the space bar usually allows the user to page down or to page up when the space bar is used with the shift key.

In many programs for playback of linear media, the space bar is used for pausing and resuming playback, or for manually advancing through text.

References

  1. ^ "Space key - Definitions and More from the free Merriam-Webster Dictionary". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 18 November 2012. 
  2. ^ US 3228, Charles Thurber, "Machine for printing", issued 1843-08-26 
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 


Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.