• Paul Reckas

Computer tips and tricks – What is the use of the keyboard F (function) keys?

Have you ever wondered what the use of all those F numbered keys on the top of your keyboard are all about? Best known as function keys, they are programmed to perform standard tasks depending on the operating system or application you are using at the time (i.e. PCs with Windows OS vs Mac computers). Functions keys can also be used in combination with other keys such as the ALT, FN, and/or CTRL keys to perform quick actions.

Below is a list of common functions performed using the function keys:

  • F1: Activates the help window of the current program you are working on for the majority of applications.

  • F2: If you are using Microsoft Word CTRL + F2 will activate the print preview window. For Windows OS users, clicking F2 will allow you to change the name of a highlighted icon, folder, or File.

  • F3: Using SHIFT+F3 in Microsoft word will toggle between typing in lower or upper case or it will change the first letter of a word to upper case.

  • F4: Opens up the address bar in internet Explored and Microsoft Edge Browsers. When using Microsoft Word, F4 will repeat your last action.

  • F5: Use it to refresh/reload a browser page or an active application. In Microsoft word, F5 works as a shortcut to open the Find & Replace window.

  • F6: Moves the cursor in the address bar in most browsers.

  • F7: Activates the spell checker in most Microsoft Office application such as Word, Outlook, etc. Highlight a word and using SHIFT+ F7 it will run a Thesaurus check!

  • F8: Commonly used to start a windows computer in Safe Mode.

  • F9: Refresh/reload a document in Microsoft Word

  • F10: Clicking on SHIFT+F10 at the same time is like right clicking a file or link

  • F11: Toggle between full screen and normal screen on most web browsers.

  • F12: If you are using Microsoft Word, F12 opens up the save us window whereas CTRL+12 brings up the Open a document window.

  • F13 – F19: Available on newer apple keyboards they are used as replacements of Print Screen, Scroll Lock, and Pause keys among other functions.




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