What are the ridges on the F and J keys on your keyboard for?

We love to bring you useful stuff about computers and the web, but we also love to bring you small stuff like this that’s interesting but won’t make you a better user or more of a pro on the internet like this little nugget.


What are the ridges for?

We reckon that like us you probably hadn’t noticed the ridges on these keys until we pointed them out. Noe you look at them, they’re a little odd and definitely out of place. They don’t represent a second use for the F and J keys like the % sign on the 5 or the £ on the 3, so why are they there? You can’t quite put your finger on it, can you?


The simple fact of the matter is that the small ridges on these two keys are there for a practical reason. Take a look at the keyboard itself and you see where the two ridges are placed in correlation to the other keys? Yeap, that’s right, they’re towards the centre of the keyboard. There’s no pure logic to their position that can be followed to understand why they are there. For example, the F key is four keys from the end of the alphabet keys. The J is 3 keys in from the right. So why are those bumps on those keys then?


The bumps on those two keys are there to help users to position their fingers correctly. They are a guide for each hand, the F key for the left hand and the J key for the right. They’re existence means that you don’t need to look down when you’re on the keyboard while you type. When your fingers run over those keys, you’re able to instinctively correct and reposition your fingers on the keyboard if they’ve gone astray.

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