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What is a Soft Key?

A soft key is one of the keys that are contextually adaptive to perform a function on a physical desk phone.

They are usually located below the screen and provide context-sensitive actions.

Here are some examples of some actions that can be taken and the context in which they appear:

On a call
  • Transfer
  • Hold
  • Park
Idle (no call)
  • Do not disturb
  • Retrieve
Ringing (incoming call)
  • Answer
  • Reject

When you are on a call, your soft buttons may include Hold, Transfer, Park, etc. While you are idle, they may include turning on DND, and Retrieving a parked call.

While the phone is ringing, it may include answering the phone (on speakerphone) or Rejecting the call to Voicemail.

Many manufacturers allow soft keys to be customized to a small degree, removing or adding options.

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