The shift key is a modifier key on a keyboard, used to type capital letters and other alternate "upper" characters. There are typically two shift keys, on the left and right sides of the row below the home row. The shift key's name originated from the typewriter, where one had to press and hold the button to shift up the case stamp to change to capital letters;the shift key was first used in the Remington No. 2 Type-Writer of 1878; the No. 1 model was capital-only.On the US layout and similar keyboard layouts, characters that typically require the use of the shift key include the parentheses, the question mark, the exclamation point, and the colon.