Mac Enter; PC Return


What is the history behind why Macintosh has “enter” on its keyboard and why PC has “return” on theirs? There’s gotta be some reason why.

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no-el
18 years ago

the pc – being the geek-dos-programmer-bill-gates platform has the “enter” button because that is what you hit when you typed in a bunch of crytpic code and wanted to submit or “enter” your commands to the motherboard, i.e. computer.

the mac – wanting to be different, of course, chose to retain the traditional keys on the typewriter keyboard. “return” was the key to hit when you wanted a line return after a sentence. that’s when that thing-a-ma-jig-em on the typewriter would violently move back to its original position on the left side – thus “return”ing to the original position.

laura k.
laura k.
18 years ago

there are other keyboard differences, if anyone cares. being a dual mac-pc person (boy, never thought i’d say that!), i know this stuff. mac:pc – delete:backspace – command:control – option:alt [though the mac option key says alt as well…???”>. the mac does have a separate control key, though i have yet to figure out what it does. it is in the same place as the pc control key, so when i get to work in the morning (mac), i’m temporarily trying to use it for command functions because i was using a pc at home the night before. similarly, i use the wrong keys initially when i get home (pc) from work (mac) because i have been used to mac keys all day.

fascinating stuff, i know!

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