Use of Keyboard Function keys (F1 – F12)

Keyboard Function keys or fn keys (f1,f2,f3,f4,f5,f6,f7,f8,f9,f10,f11,f12)

Every keyboard comes with a set of function keys (F1 through F12) but do you know functionalities of those function keys (or fn keys)? Sometimes in multimedia keyboard or compact keyboard, these function keys come as secondary functions on other keys like brightness, sleep, play media, player, mute. In such keyboard, to use function keys, you may need to press another special key ‘fn’ (beside Windows key) and then any function key. These function keys can be used with combination of other keys like ctrl or alt or shift.
Each function key is built to perform specific task but it may vary based upon operating system and the kind of program you are using right now. Let’s see few common functionalities that can be performed using these function keys. Few of such functionalities you may have used, few not.


F1:  
   – Almost every program uses this key to open its Help and Support window 
   – F1 with windows key shows up Windows Help and Support screen
   – Can be used to enter CMOS setup

F2:
   – Yes, I know, almost everyone has used this to rename files or folders or icons quickly
   – Can be used to enter CMOS setup
   – Alt + Ctrl + F2 opens document window in Microsoft Office
   – Ctrl  + F2 displays print preview window in Microsoft Office
   – Alt + F2 opens ‘Save As’ window in Microsoft Excel
   – Shift + F2 can be used to add comment box in Microsoft Excel

F3:
   – Press F3 to open search window to find files and folders
   – In MSDOS or windows command prompt, F3 repeats the last command
   – On most browsers, F3 is used to open find bar
   – In Microsoft Word, Shift + F3 changes the text from upper case to lower case or all capital letters

F4:
– Most common, Alt + F4 to close current program window. If no program window is open, it launches Shutdown dialog box
– Ctrl  + F4 closes active window within current active window in Microsoft Windows
– Opens address bar in Windows Explorer and Internet Explorer
– Press F4 to repeat the last action performed in Microsoft Word

F5:
   – Almost in all modern internet browsers, pressing F5 refreshes or reloads the web page
   – Starts slide show in Power Point
   – Opens Find and Replace window in Microsoft Word, GoTo window in Excel

F6:
   – Almost in all modern browsers, pressing F6 moves the cursor to the address bar
   – Ctrl + F6 toggles between various Microsoft Word documents

F7:
   – Press F7 to launch Spelling and Grammar dialog box in Microsoft Office program
   – Shift + F7  opens Research window in Microsoft Office
   – In few browsers like Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, pressing F7 turns Caret Browsing on or off

F8:
   – Holding F8 during Windows boot process enters into Windows Safe Mode
   – Pressing F8 displays a thumbnail image of all workspaces in Mac OS X

F9:
   – In many application, it is used to send email like Microsoft Outlook, Siebel CRM
   – Ctrl + F9 and Alt + F9 are used to build mail merge document in Microsoft Word
   – If you are a programmer, you may have used F9 to compile and execute code in combination with Ctrl or Alt key

F10:
   – In many programs, Shift + F10 opens up the menu window, equivalent to right-click
   – Shows menu bar in Mozilla Firefox, internet browser or highlights the same in many programs
   – Sometimes it is used to enter CMOS setup

F11:
   – Is used to enter and exit from full screen mode in all modern internet browsers
   – In Microsoft Excel, Shift + F11 adds a new sheet, Ctrl + F11 adds a new macro to the workbook
   – Pressing Alt + F11 in MS Office program, invokes Microsoft Visual Basic window for that document

F12:
– Opens ‘Save As’ window in MS Office program
– Shift + Ctrl + F12 open Print window in MS Office
– Ctrl + F12 opens a document in MS Office
– Opens and closes developer tools in most of the internet browsers

Conclusion:
In earlier IBM keyboard, there were keys from F13 to F24 also. But we do not use these function keys any more. We have tried our best to give you functionalities of all Function keys or fn keys (F1 – F12). But we may have missed out some important uses of these function keys and that’s what we have readers like you. Please let us know if you have come across any other functionalities of these function keys. We will publish it with your name.
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