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.

Enjoyed this blog post?

Join the creatives who receive thoughtful Spudart blog posts via the email newsletter

Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
22 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.
22 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!

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x