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What is a Forward Slash?

What is a Forward Slash?

The forward slash "/" is an ASCII text character that is commonly used to communicate network addresses, URLs, and other addresses on the computer keyboard. The forward slash is used three times in this Javatpoint URL, for example, at It is also used for alphanumerical representations in mathematics, punctuation, including general-purpose coding, also referred to as a solidus, whack, virgule, or upward slash. In the command-line systems, a newer use of forwarding slash is file and folder designations as it is the common format for file, folder, or directories.

One of the most typical applications is fractions, in which the number at the bottom of the fraction is known as the denominator and is shown to the right of the forward slashThe numerator is the number that comes out on top of the fraction, and it appears to the left of the forward slash. This usage was widely in use in the past time by typewriters and typesetting, but it is still in use today. In many programming languages, it is used in order to apply comments in the given code. In another word, in many programming languages, if you write anything between two sets of forward slashes, it will only not be read by computer machine, and only humans can look at it because the comments in the programming languages do not consider as part of functional programming by the computer.

In contrast, as compared to a forward slash, the backslash is less commonly used, which is a different ASCII character. Although the backslash is used in some files and some destinations, it is not as common as the forward slash.

Where is the forward slash key on the keyboard?

A photograph of a computer keyboard is shown below, with forward slash keys circled in red on the top of the keyboard. The first is on the numeric keyboard, while the second is on the standard keyboard. The main objective of the forward slash is to represent the division operator on a calculator.

What is a Forward Slash?

How to create a forward slash

The forward slash "/" can be created on various devices such as computers, smartphones, or tablets.

Creating the "/" symbol on a U.S. keyboard

The forward slash is next to the question mark key on English keyboards, next to the right Shift.

Creating the "/" symbol on a smartphone or tablet

On a smartphone or tablet, you must first open the keyboard. Then press the / symbol to make a forward slash in the symbols (sym) or numbers (123) section.

Uses of the forward slash

There may be the following reasons to use a forward slash, which are as follows:

Math formula

A forward slash in a math formula is used to calculate division operation. For example, you can see in the below example that 20/10 or 20 divided by 10 is equal to 2, and 50 <divided by> 2 is equal to 25

Separate the month, day, and year of a date

Forward slashes are commonly used to split a date's month, day, and year, and they are utilised in many parts of the world for this purpose. For instance, in the United States, 3/06/2021 is March 06, 2021.

Remember that date formats are different in different parts of the world. For case, in the above example, the format is M/dd/yy; instead of this format, another format can be used as yy/MM/dd or dd-MMM-yy.

Nonexecutable statement in computer programming

In some programming languages, a forward slash is used to apply comment, or in the nonexecutable statement that means if you write anything between two sets of forward slashes, it will only not be read by computer machine because the comments in the programming languages do not consider as part of functional programming; hence, the computer ignores them while compiling the codes. For instance, in the below PHP code, when this program will be executed, it will display hello Javatpoint on the screen as an output, and the statement "comment example in PHP programming language" will not show because it is written surrounded by a forward slash and an asterisk.

Closing tags in HTML and XML

The forward slash is also used to close tags with markup languages such as HTML, XML and others to let the reader or browser know when a tag is closed. How a forward slash is used with HTML, an example is given below.

In the above example, you can see a forward slash is used to end the tags, such as </h1>, </p>, and more. However, when tags are opened, the forward slash is not used.

Command line switch or another program option

The forward slash is used to conduct a command option or switch in MS-DOS and the Windows command line. In this case, the /p (forward slash and p) specifies a one-page directory listing, as shown in the dir command below:

The forward slash is also used to start a command with chat. For instance, /msg is a message command in IRC that represents the message's another person chatting.

Another use of the forward slash is to start an action in online games. For example, you are playing a game like World of Warcraft, and typing anything/dancing into chat while playing the game makes your character dance.

A forward slash in a spreadsheet program

The forward slash plays a vital role in spreadsheet programs like Microsoft Excel as it is used in math formulas to perform division operation or calculation. For case, in the below division formula, cell A3 is divided by cell B3.

A forward slash is treated as a date when it is used with only numbers and not used with formula. For instance, if a user types "3/7" in a cell, this cell is treated as the data by Excel-like "7-Mar" or "3/7/2021."

Regular expression delimiter

A forward slash is also used with a regular expression as a separator or delimiter. The following is an example of a Perl regular expression, where $example is a variable in which all letter "a" characters are replaced with the letter "b."

What is the other symbol on the forward slash key?

On U.S. keyboards, the question mark key is also located with the forward-slash key. The question mark key may be located above or next to the forward-slash symbol on the keyboard. Hold down the Shift key while hitting the / key in order to make the question mark symbol.

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