If you look at Apple's keyboards nowadays, you'll see that on the "F" and "J" keys there is a little groove line under the letter.

Why does this exist? What purpose does it serve?

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  • 22
    It's a limited edition, marked with my initials. Please return all hardware that have them to me.
    – Jan Fabry
    Jun 4, 2011 at 14:09
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    @JanFabry Absolutely love it!!
    – daviesgeek
    Dec 5, 2011 at 3:51

1 Answer 1


Actually, this is a feature of all keyboards, and has been for as long as I can remember. Most keyboards use a line, but older Apple keyboards used a dot.

The goal of the ridge is to allow people who type without looking at the keyboard to easily find the right keys to put their fingers on. These keys are referred to as the home row.

Both Qwerty and Dvorak keyboards (image) have these notches where you place you index fingers on the home row, which shows that the notches correspond to a location and not a particular letter.

Bottom line: If you don't look at your keyboard, these are an important feature to let you put your hands where you need to. If you do look at your keyboard, these don't help you.

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    Not to mention blind users.
    – deceze
    Jun 4, 2011 at 3:00
  • Some of the older Apple keyboards had a more pronounced curvature of those keys. Many PC keyboards have lines on the D and K instead (for the middle fingers, instead of the index).
    – NReilingh
    Jun 4, 2011 at 3:26
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    @NReilingh Really? I've never seen a board with D and K accented. As a curiosity, I'd love to see a photo of one like that if you can find one. Jun 4, 2011 at 3:42
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    You'll see the same thing on telephones. The numeral '5' will have some sort of tactile cue on it. Same goes for ATM keypads as well.
    – boehj
    Jun 4, 2011 at 3:51
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