Users use the keyboard primarily to type text. Character keys send a character to the BlackBerry® device. A modifier key alters the functionality of character keys. Modifier keys include the Shift key and the Alt key. When users press a modifier key, a typing mode indicator appears in the upper-right corner of the screen.

On BlackBerry devices without a touch screen, users can also use the keyboard to move around a screen (for example, to move around a map). However, navigation using the keyboard should always be an alternative to navigation using the trackwheel, trackball, or trackpad.

BlackBerry devices have either a full keyboard or a reduced keyboard. On BlackBerry devices with a SurePress™ touch screen, in most cases, the full keyboard appears in landscape view and the reduced keyboard appears in portrait view.

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