Which Three Parts of the Computer Give Input?

As intelligent as computers are, they require some direction from the user. Input is the process by which PCs receive data from the user for processing. Examples include text from a keyboard, images from a scanner, and video from a webcam. Learn more about the three parts of a computer that give input.

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Computers accept many forms of input.


Keyboards are commonly used to input text.

First used on typewriters, the keyboard is the most widely used input in modern computing. A typical United States Windows keyboard has 104 keys. This includes one key for the entire alphabet, numbers 0-9, arithmetic operators such as addition, and others.


A typical mouse has at least two buttons. Some have scroll wheels for reading long documents.

Invented by Douglas Engelbart in 1963, the mouse is a pointing device that recognizes two-dimensional motion. It is found on just about any computer that has a keyboard and commonly used to navigate graphical interfaces. The mouse did not become popular until 1984 when Apple integrated it into its famous Macintosh computer.


Webcams are useful for video conferencing.

A wide variety of peripherals provide input. Just a few examples are webcams for video, scanners for images, microphones for audio, styluses, fingerprint readers, and even advanced microscopes. New forms of input are invented every year as technology evolves.

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