How to Use Keyboard Function Keys

When I had started using computers eons ago, I always used to winder what are these function keys for in the keyboard ? what are these F1, F2, F3, F4, F5, F6, F7, F8, F9, F10, F11, F12 keys supposed to do ? and I know many still don’t know the point of having functional keys.

Functions keys at the top section of our keyboard enable us to access particular function on Windows. Among F1 – F12 the F1 is most popular and widely used as we all know to access Help. But, most of us not quite aware of rest of these function keys. Lets discuss about the use of these keys.

F1 – As we all know it helps us to open the help associated with the currently active application. And it brings up Windows help if press on desktop.

F2 – With F2 key, we can rename a file which is highlighted. Also, this key can be used on Spreadsheet applications like MS Excel to activate the typing cursor on the active cell.

F3 – The F3 function key is used to open the Search File option. Basically this key works only when you are within Windows application like Desktop, My Computer etc. Also on Internet Explorer we can open the search by pressing the F3 key.

F4 – The F4 key is especially for Internet Explorer and it activate the address bar. The same thing applies while pressing F4 on Windows Explorer. Also, the Alt+F4 combination will close the currently active window.

F5 – F5 key is used to refresh. You can refresh the site you are surfing on IE or your current desktop.

F6 – The F6 key helps to move/highlight the cursor on an application.

F8 – The main use of F8 key is to open the boot options while Windows is booting.

F10 – By pressing the F10 key you can navigate through the menu of the currently active application. Also F10+F combination unfolds menu items.

F11 – You can open Internet Explorer in Full Screen mode by pressing F11.

F7, F9 and F10 keys are reserved keys and works differently on specific applications. For example, you can start Spelling and Grammar checking by pressing the F7 on MS Word.

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1 Response to “How to Use Keyboard Function Keys”

  1. 1hannah on Jun 13, 2009 :

    Thanks alot, great article as I too always used to wonder why do we have all these function keys ? I know F8 is used to boot in safe mode in windows and F1 for help but what about other functional keys :) so in short, they are used to for system shortcuts, I am sure in MAC and other operating systems, the keys will work differently ? can you confirm this

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