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I know this could be sound strange and may be my question is not reasonable but for me it has worth.

I want to know what is the difference between the numeric keys and the digit keys available on PC and Laptop. Some tricks only numeric keys works simple digit keys don't.

For example, creating folder con and a nameless folder we have to use the numeric keys and then the task accomplish but not when we use digit keys. I tried some Googling but did not get sufficient info.

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Is it an OS bug or something that you ran into? –  surfasb Aug 3 '11 at 5:29
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@surfasb his question is on the lines of why is it possible to enter the alt+<nnn> combos only via the numeric keypad –  Sathya Aug 3 '11 at 5:41
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It's similar with Return and Enter on Macs. Most of the time, they're the same. Sometimes, they're not. –  Daniel Beck Jun 9 '12 at 14:48

1 Answer 1

up vote 11 down vote accepted

In short: they are just different keys. More precisely, the num-pad keys have different scancodes, even though they normally produce the same text when typed.

In programs, they will have the same effect if the program checks what text is typed. (In this case the program relies on the operating system to convert keyboard scancodes into Unicode characters according to the current keyboard layout.) If the program reads the scancodes directly, the behavior may differ.

In particular, for the Alt+xxx keycodes, Windows is programmed to generate special characters only when the digits are typed using numpad keys.

(Obviously, this assumes NumLock is in the correct state.)

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This was my guess, since Alt-0-9 have their own scancodes. It probably also had something to do with the ANSI code pages and internationalization. I gotta ask the ancients when I get to work. . . –  surfasb Aug 3 '11 at 10:15

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