Glossary of Technical Theatre Terms

Random Glossary Entry

Short for Software Key. A button on a lighting or sound desk whose function changes according to your last action. The function of the soft key is often shown on an adjacent display panel. The keys are often numbered rather than being labelled (e.g. on the ETC Express and Ion range of lighting desks, the soft keys are numbered S1 to S8).

Welcome to the Biggest Technical Theatre Glossary on the Web, now in its 20th year!

You can also search the whole website for information and resources using the search bar above right. 

If you’re on the move, try our mobile Glossary web app:

Search Glossary (best with single word)


We now track any searches that aren’t successful, and will try to update the glossary within 48 hours. Please come back and search again! 

Browse by Letter


Further Information on Glossary Entries

List Glossary Entries by Category

See also:

Terms of Use:

The information contained in this Glossary is provided on the web for the purposes of research and education for students of technical theatre. Parts of it may be distributed within an institution (school, college, other educational body) electronically or on paper provided the source is acknowledged, including this statement:
“This listing is copyright © 1997-2018 Jon Primrose /
The most up to date version can always be searched at
University of Exeter Drama Department information :”

Please note – the information contained within this Glossary may not be copied or incorporated into another website, CD-ROM or non-electronic publication for general distribution. You may, of course, link to this page from your site without further reference. Every effort has been made to ensure that the information contained in these web pages is accurate at the time they were created or modified.