The way hardware looks, and functions isn’t just a product of necessity. When hardware is designed, careful thought goes into several aspects including what is. and isn’t comfortable to use. Take the example of ergonomic keyboards, soft key keyboards, and even gaming keyboards. Keyboards have changed quite a bit but you’ll be surprised to know that a certain aspect of it dates back to when a computer was used exclusively through the terminal and GUI, as a concept, didn’t exist. This is the number pad with its home, end, and arrow key buttons. To be precise, it’s the arrow keys on a number pad. The other keys, i.e., Home, End, Pgup, and Pgdn are included to make it more functional.
In the early days, keyboards didn’t have dedicated arrow keys so the number pad keys doubled in function. You could use it to enter numbers, and you could use the arrow keys to move your cursor. The number pad seemed like a good place to put the keys too since it was easy to use and it didn’t interfere with the letter keys. The question is, how do you use these keys on a modern keyboard?
Home, End, arrow keys on num pad
Much like the Fn key that can toggle what the F1-F12 keys on your keyboard do, the NumLock key works the same way. The only exception is that it can toggle the number pad On/Off where as the Fn key has to be held down to change what the F1-F12 keys do.
Note: You can turn on the FN key lock if your keyboard supports it.
When the NumLock is On, the number pad will enter numbers and the mathematical symbols it has. When you want to use the Home, End, Pgup, or Pgdn keys though, you have to turn NumLock Off. It’s that simple.
The arrow keys on the number pad, and the other ones, may work somewhat differently depending on the keyboard you have. They may also behave differently than if you were using the dedicated arrow keys, or the home, end, insert, etc., keys. This is anecdotal but normally if you tap Ctrl+End where you have a dedicated End key on your keyboard, it takes you to the end of a page or field, or folder. With my keyboard, the End button doesn’t work with the Ctrl modifier. It is possible that the keyboard you have does the same.