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Most keyboards have a rectangular Return (often labeled Enter) key. Above it they have the \ key and above that is a rectangular Backspace key.

Some keyboards, however, have a weird shaped Return key that covers the usual position for the \ key above it, as seen below.

Return key extends upwards into the \ key

To place the \ key elsewhere, they take up space from the Backspace key. It doesn't seem like it would be an easier place to hit the button in its upward extension. Furthermore, backspace is one of the most commonly used keys on a keyboard and shortening the button makes it even harder to reach.

Why are some keyboards commonly designed with this extended Return key?

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In the old Europe, that's kind of the standard (with our wéírd ñ and ç). – Francisco Presencia Jun 6 '14 at 3:25

I think it's a regional pattern.

A USA keyboard typically has a smaller return key whereas a European keyboard will have a larger return key.

On a European keyboard the backslash is typically moved to another location.

On my current UK keyboard it's beside the left shift key. However on the my UK iMac keyboard it's above the right shift key in the gap normally taken by the rectangular return key.

Short Answer: Different locations have different keyboard layouts regardless of language. What the thought process behind this choice is i'm unsure.

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I am still wondering why the return key is extended, as I can't see any point to the upper part. – Keavon Jun 6 '14 at 18:27

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