The asterisk is a symbol
While easily typed
by holding the shift
key and pressing 8
, the * is also found above the numeric keypad
as it represents multiplication
. It can also be called up by holding the alt
key and pressing 0042
. (key locations are based on a standard qwerty
Another use for the * is as a meta character in search strings. While the question mark (?) is generally the meta character to replace a single unknown character, the asterisk is used to replace an unknown number of characters, including none.
eg. If I had a searchable database of the dictionary, and I was unsure if bookkeeper had one or two k's, I could do a search for "book*eeper". Also, if I wanted to know all words that began with the letters book, I could enter the string "book*"