Home Row

What Does Home Row Mean?

The home row refers to the row of keys on the keyboard where the fingers rest when one is not typing. The row is the reference point from which all the other keys can be reached and is usually the middle row on the keyboard. The home row keys vary depending on the keyboard type and layout.

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Techopedia Explains Home Row

The home row is the section of the keyboard where the fingers rest when not typing, of which, there are four home row keys for each hand. There are specific keys that define the home row, four keys on the left for the left hand, and four keys for the right hand. When typing, the fingers are placed on their respective home row keys while the thumbs rest on the space bar.

The fingers are placed lightly on their respective home keys when not typing. Other keys away from the home row are pressed by the finger on the home row key that is closest. After pressing the key positioned away from the home row, the finger is returned to its home row key.

The home row keys vary depending on the keyboard type:

  • On the QWERTY keyboard, the home row keys for the left hand are A, S, D, and F; and J, K, L, and semicolon (;) for the right hand. The index finger rests on the home key F for the left, and J for the right hand. In some keyboards the two home keys are designed with a small bump to enable one find the home row by touching without having to look at the keyboard.
  • On the Dvorak keyboard, the home row keys are A, O, E and U for the left hand and H, T, N and S for the right hand.

The typing speed is dependent on the letters on the home row and usually faster on the Dvorak keyboard that has A, O, E, and U, and H, T, N, and S most easily accessible.

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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.