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Apparently they first appeared on reel to reel tape machines in the 1960s. The Play Arrow would indicate the direction of travel of the tape. Fast-forward and backward would be indicated by doubled arrows. See this post on imgur.


Backspace deletes one letter at a time because you input one letter at a time. It is counter intuitive if you would delete a bigger unit by default, than the smallest one you can enter. There is also a level of ambiguity in deleting a whole word. What is a word? Is it a set of characters, separated by a space or by any punctuation? If I program and enter ...


There are many UX concerns, but primarily its taken from the typewriter times: Backspace is the keyboard key that originally pushed the typewriter carriage one position backwards. (Wikipedia) A bit of technical background Now, what the key actually does isn't deleting the last letter, but it's sending a keystroke, like every other keypress does. In ...


Because modern keyboards are derived from typewriters. backspace (BS) – a keystroke that moved the cursor backwards one position (on a physical platen, this is the exact opposite of the space key), for the purpose of overtyping a character. This could be for combining characters (e.g. an apostrophe, backspace, and period make an exclamation point—a ...


Let's imagine this: I have a very long world (Rindfleischettikettierungüberwaschungaufgabenübertragungsgesetz, viva German), but I misstyped something in the middle of it. It would be a waste of time to rewrite the whole thing, rather than simply go back a few letters and replace the wrong one with the good one. Of course, if I would write down this wird, ...


The backspace key and its behavior on computer keyboards was copied from the key of the same name on typewriters. Typewriters had no notion of words since they were not originally computing devices at all.

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