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The delete key is a key on most computer keyboards which typically is used to delete either (in text mode) the character ahead of or beneath the cursor, or (in GUI mode) the currently-selected object. The key is sometimes referred to as the "forward delete" key. This is because the key also deletes characters, but to the left of the cursor. On many keyboards, such as most Apple keyboards, the key with the backspace function is also labelled "delete".


Position and labelling on keyboards
The key appears on English-language IBM-compatible PC keyboards labeled as or , sometimes accompanied by a crossed-out right-arrow symbol. However, sometimes the key labelled performs the function instead, for example on some Apple keyboards.

In other cases, the Delete key is in its original IBM notebook position of above and to the right of the Backspace key. Many laptops add rows of smaller keys above the Function key line to add keys on a non-standard size keyboard. On this row of smaller keys, the position of the Delete key is positioned at or near the right-hand end. On Apple's line of laptops (e.g. the and ), the forward delete function can be achieved using the key combination.

The Delete key is typically smaller and less-conveniently located than the Backspace key, and on keyboards where space is limited, for example those omitting the or on mobile devices, it is often omitted altogether.

On some compact keyboards (for example, the 60-key Happy Hacking Keyboard), the Delete key replaces the conventional Backspace key, and the Backspace function is achieved by holding the and pressing Delete.


Uses
When struck on a computer keyboard during text or command editing, the delete key ( or ), known less ambiguously as forward delete, discards the character ahead of the cursor's position, moving all following characters one position "back" towards the freed letterspace. The key is also used by many applications to request deletion of the currently-selected object, for example a file in a or a block of text in a .

The delete key often works as a generic command to remove a selected object, such as an image embedded in a document (on , both the forward delete key and the delete (backspace) key have the same effect when pressed while an object is selected).

On systems, the delete key is usually mapped to ESC[3~ which is the VT220 escape code for the "" key.

The delete key, on many modern motherboards, also functions to open the setup screen when pressed after starting the computer.

In GUI applications where the Delete key is enabled, especially in file browsers, pressing it does not necessarily immediately delete the selected object, but often a confirmation will appear to allow the user to cancel the deletion, or the object may instead be silently moved to a "trash folder" or equivalent, so that it can be recovered later. In other GUI contexts, the function can often reverse a deletion.


Alternative Key Mapping
As many Apple keyboards lack a dedicated key for the forward delete function, Mac users wishing to have a dedicated forward delete key can reassign the forward-delete function to a different key using various third-party applications, such as , Karabiner or . For example, installing and enabling the DoubleCommand application allows the user to use the , or numeric keypad keys as a forward delete key.Soundforge DoubleCommand download page, http://doublecommand.sourceforge.net/features.html Accessed 2016-11-10


See also

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