We are trying to map how a user will see key presses for custom hotkeys. However, there is some debate which I cannot find a standard for:

How to display the number pad keys:

  • num1, num2, numPLUS, etc
  • ???

I prefer the second option as all caps is being used for all other keys, and the NUMPAD is easier to understand than num

So, I am taking the discussion here. Is there a standard I am missing?


We have a hotkey UI that shows the user the keypress actions that will occur:

ie. When they press Shift and 7 we display "SHIFT + 7"

But, the number pad keys on a keyboard are mapped to a different keycode, so we cannot tell the user that if they press the 7 on the numberpad that it is SHIFT + 7, because in reality it is SHIFT + 7 (NUMPAD)

  • Can you elaborate, I cannot understand what you are trying to say.
    – rk.
    Commented Jun 12, 2013 at 15:40
  • @rk. Added, let me know if that helps clarify Commented Jun 12, 2013 at 15:46
  • Do you mean something like: "How do you refer to the number-pad keys in a way that users understand?". It's a terminology thing really.
    – JonW
    Commented Jun 12, 2013 at 15:53
  • @JonW Yes, it is mostly a terminology thing. But, also a consistency thing. If we go with all caps for everything, then going with lowercase num to display a difference in key location does not seem valid to me. Commented Jun 12, 2013 at 15:56
  • 1
    Distinguishing between numpad numbers and typewriter key numbers is going to be confusing. If you could have both sets of number keys have the same semantics it would be less confusing.
    – obelia
    Commented Jun 12, 2013 at 16:21

1 Answer 1


Unless you are using acronyms or using titles, I would advice against the use of all upper case words. Look at the keyboard shortcut listings from Apple (OSX) and Windows (8).

I agree with your argument that numpad is easier to understand than num, it reduces the mental step of mapping num acronym to its full word.

Shift + 7(Numpad)

Also, if the keyboard has a symbol associated with the numpad then you can consider using that. enter image description here

You can make a legend for your own shortcuts, Num for Numpad and then use the shorthand notation. Num7

  • Thanks, we came to the same conclusion on Numpad. I will pass on the advice on uppercase and leave it to our designer along those lines Commented Jun 12, 2013 at 16:30
  • 2
    Also, I cant edit your answer, but you have a rather unfortunate misspelling in your Shift+7 that needs fixed :) Commented Jun 12, 2013 at 16:31
  • 2
    @JustinPihony That's what the user said ;)
    – rk.
    Commented Jun 12, 2013 at 16:33

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