Delete Key

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by craigo424x, Aug 13, 2007.

  1. craigo424x macrumors member

    Jul 21, 2007
    Ok, so I don't understand the concept w/ the delete/backspace on the mb. The delete key is the backspace key equivalent on windows and when you hold fn+delete it turns into the delete key equivalent in windows? Is there any easier way to delete a character(s) in a document w/o having to hold fn+delete??? This is really annoying...
  2. iTeen macrumors 65816


    Aug 13, 2007
    if u wnt 2 delete letters and stuff just use the delete key like a backspace key. jeeze u dn't make anysence!!! jk
  3. siurpeeman macrumors 603


    Dec 2, 2006
    the OC
    i'm really not sure what you're confused about. one is a forward delete, and the other is a backward delete key.
  4. triddent222 macrumors regular

    Jul 27, 2007
    Somewhere interesting
    Windows users are used to "Delete = Erases the character right in front of the cursor"..while "Backspace = Erases the character right BEFORE the cursor". Using a key labeled "Delete" but which true function is really a "backspace" can be a little confusing to some people.

    I'd say you *could* remap the keyboard and make so it does the "right" functio. Or, you could use an external keyboard OR you could get used to it.

    Personally, I dont really mind.
  5. WildCowboy Administrator/Editor


    Staff Member

    Jan 20, 2005
    Maybe I've just been using Macs for too long and they've affected the way I do things, but 99% of the time I want to delete something, it's the backspace key I need. I've usually mistyped something, so I need to delete what's to the left of the cursor.

    Yes, Apple labels it differently, but once you understand that it's a backspace key, doesn't it do what you want it to do?

    Do most people use forward delete more often than backspace? :confused:
  6. triddent222 macrumors regular

    Jul 27, 2007
    Somewhere interesting
    I really use forward delete a lot more than backwards delete. It might be of course, because I write a lot, and am constantly going back and forth between sentences, so, I often want to delete the sentence(s) in front of the cursor. Certainly, If I make a mistake I want the backwards delete, but having both is really convenient. Does the "label" bothers me? No at all, but new comers to the mac world will surely notice the difference.
  7. Cameront9 macrumors 6502a


    Aug 6, 2006
    "Backspace" is a holdover from Typewriters and simply refers to moving the carriage back one space. Apple is actually more correct in calling it a delete key. One is Forward Delete, the other is Backward delete.

    I, too rarely use the Forward delete, anyway.
  8. Zel macrumors regular

    Jul 7, 2007
    As a programmer, I am constantly manipulating characters, moving bits and pieces and using backward AND forward delete.

    standard 'PC' keyboards have a "backspace" right where your 'delete' key is and does the backwards one. we have a separate button that says 'del' that does forward delete. It's the infamous Ctrl+alt+del key. It's usually over the arrow keys, off to the right of the normal backspace button, so on a laptop it's normally out of place anyway!

    I miss it, almost as much as I miss having a Ctrl between the spacebar and the arrow keys, twice in this posting i have hit that silly extra enter and left when I wanted to skip left a whole word... under apple I need option+left which takes two hands :(

    Hey how do I remap keys? I dont have a place to put DEL but I can put a second Option over that silly enter button.
  9. triddent222 macrumors regular

    Jul 27, 2007
    Somewhere interesting
  10. craigo424x thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 21, 2007
    Wow, thanks everyone! This thread turned more interesting than I ever imagined. Well I will look into remapping, I guess I'm just use to it from Windows...guess I need to get over it. I posted this while at work today and then I looked at the apple keyboard that I haven't hooked up to my mb yet and noticed it has 2 delete keys like a windows keyboard, so I assume that will work normal. I was just in shock that the mb didn't have a dedicated key for that action...I thought it was important. Thanks again
  11. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    You're not the only one (this has come up from switchers many, many times), if that makes you feel better. :)

    The thing that gets me is that, the key may say delete, but it's where the backspace key is on a Windows keyboard and it does the same thing. I just went ahead and used it naturally and never thought twice. The notebook keyboards, just like anyone else's notebook keyboards, only have the one of the two (back delete) that gets used the most by most people, or at least by me and enough other people that they designed it this way. :D

    Not to mention that the full size keyboard (i.e. desktop) has a forward delete key pretty much just where the forward delete key would be on any other keyboard.

    So other than the labeling, isn't it exactly the same? I switch back and forth between Windows and OS X keyboards all day and swear I never notice this....
  12. MacDawg macrumors Core


    Mar 20, 2004
    "Between the Hedges"
    It is a quirky difference between worlds, but if you work on a Windows machine all day at work like I do, it is one of the slight adjustments you make. I've found myself looking for the delete key myself, but isn't a huge deal for me.

    However, I can see where it could be a little irritating.

    Woof, Woof - Dawg [​IMG]
  13. amusiccale macrumors 6502

    Jun 5, 2007
    I bought an external keyboard because I've been spoiled, using both of them at will for the last number of years. What really got me was the home/end key differences until doublecommand stepped in FTW.
  14. polycat33 macrumors 6502

    Jul 1, 2007
    Alexandria, VA
    I never even knew that the "delete" key on a PC keyboard did something different (ie. forward delete) until one of my classmates I had a group project with used it in front of me. I started using it a lot and really missed it when I got my MBP. But I got an external bluetooth keyboard and the delete key is back, right where it is on the PC, and still called delete. On Mac keyboards there are two delete keys, but who cares, one is forward one is backward, doesn't matter what they're called.
  15. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

    Jun 25, 2002
    Gone but not forgotten.
    Yeah, the more keyboard styles, the merrier.

    Terminals (or terminal emulation software) on big machines don't always have such keys. For large IBM machines with hundreds of users, backspace emulates a typewriter. It moves the cursor backwards. To clear the rest of the text area to the right of the cursor, you press the <field exit> or <field +> or <field -> key, depending on the data type.

    I'm glad I have an external keyboard at home for the PowerBook because it's quicker for those few times when I want to use the delete key but it's essential on Windows for throwing stuff in the Recycle Bin.

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