Generally speaking, a typical Windows keyboard is divided into several sections, with function keys, main and typewriter keys, arrow keys and number pad, and so on.
Your keyboard has so many useful Windows function keys that you may not know what each function key does.For example, the F1 to F12 keys, they are somewhat subordinated and rarely used because not many people know what they do.
Next, we'll take you through the function keys, what they are, and what their keys do.
What are function keys
The function keys are the F1 to F12 keys (or F19 on some keyboards) located at the top of the keyboard.You can use them for everything from getting help to controlling media volume, and more.
The function keys can be used alone to perform certain single-key actions, for example, F5 to refresh the page.They also work with modifier keys like Ctrl, Shift, and Alt to execute specific commands.
The function keys are also programmable, meaning any developer can configure them to work any way they want in a program or software.Now let's take a look at each of the function keys and most of their respective functions.
1. F1 is often referred to as the "get help" key, and pressing F1 in most programs will open the help screen or take you to a dedicated help section or page.
2. Press F1 in PowerPoint to get help on the currently selected command or ribbon control, and press Ctrl + F1 to expand or collapse the ribbon.
3. To access the Microsoft Windows help page, just press Win key + F1, if you have Edge installed, it will open in Edge.
4. You can also press F1 when the computer starts to enter the BIOS setup.
1. In Microsoft Windows, pressing F2 gives you the option to rename a selected icon, file or folder.
2. In PowerPoint and other Microsoft Office packages, you can enter the print preview menu by pressing Ctrl + F2.
3. Likewise, pressing Alt + F2 in an open PowerPoint document will open the "Save As" window.
4. Similar to F1, when your computer starts up, you can also press F2 to enter the BIOS setup.You can also enter CMOS settings with F2.
1. When you press Win + F3 in Microsoft Outlook, the Advanced Find window will open.
2. Press F3 to also open the Find tool in Google Docs, etc.
3. Press F3 to open the browser and Windows File Explorer search bar.
4. F3 will also repeat the last command entered at the MS-DOS or Windows command line.
5. Press Shift + F3 in PowerPoint to change the highlighted text to all uppercase, lowercase or initial capitalized accordingly.This also applies to Microsoft Word.
1. Press F4 to open the address bar in an open window.
2. Press F4 to close the current page or program.
3. F4 also repeats the last action in most programs.
4. Press Alt + F4 in the desktop environment to open the shutdown menu.
5. Ctrl + F4 closes the currently open program.
1. Press the F5 key to refresh the page, desktop, folder contents or window.
2. Press Ctrl + F5 to force refresh an open web page, clear the cache, and re-download the page content.
3. In PowerPoint, Shift + F5 can start a slideshow from the currently active page.
4. F5 in PowerPoint starts the slideshow from the first page.
5. You can also press F5 when the computer first loads MS-DOS to enter the default settings.
1. Pressing the F6 key will highlight the address bar and tabs in the active page on Chrome and most other browsers.
2. In Opera, F6 can select the back and close tab buttons respectively.Pressing F6 twice in Edge will prompt you to switch tabs.
3. Press F6 twice in PowerPoint to activate key tips.Pressing F6 again will reactivate the ribbon, and pressing F6 afterwards will help you navigate key parts of the screen.This works in all Microsoft Office programs.
4. Pressing Ctrl + Shift + F6 will navigate to another open PowerPoint document.This also applies to all Microsoft Office programs.
1. F7 can mute Windows Media Player.
2. Press the F7 key to open the spell check tool in PowerPoint and the editor in other Microsoft Office programs.
3. Alt + Shift + F7 to open the Translator tool in the Microsoft Office program.
4. Shift + F7 to open the thesaurus tool in Microsoft Word.
5. F7 turns Caret Browsing on/off in Chrome, Edge and Firefox.
6. Press F7 to activate the spelling and grammar tools in Google Docs.
7. When you press F7 in the Windows command line, you can view the history of all commands entered in a specific window.
1. F8 can decrease the volume of Windows Media Player.
2. In the macOS workspace, pressing F8 will display a thumbnail.
3. During startup, pressing F8 will boot Windows into Safe Mode.
4. Alt+F8 opens the Macros dialog in a Microsoft Office application.
5. Some computers can use F8 to access the Windows recovery system in addition to the Windows installation disc.
1. F9 can increase the volume of Windows Media Player.
2. Shift+F9 will activate/deactivate gridlines in PowerPoint.
3. Pressing Alt+F9 will activate/deactivate the "Guide" row in PowerPoint.
4. Alt+Shift+F9 to activate/deactivate rulers in PowerPoint.
5. Ctrl+F9 will enter curly brackets in Microsoft Word.
1. Press the F10 key to toggle on/off Key Tips in Microsoft Office applications such as Word and PowerPoint.
2. Shift+F10 performs the right-click function in Microsoft Office programs and browsers.
3. Alt+F10 to activate/deactivate selection tools in Microsoft Office programs such as PowerPoint and Word.
4. Ctrl+Shift+F10 will launch two open PowerPoint documents side by side in split view.
1. Pressing F11 in Chrome and other browsers will enter/exit full screen view.
2. In Microsoft Office applications such as Word and PowerPoint, Alt+F11 will launch Microsoft Visual Basic for applications.
3. The programmer uses Ctrl+F11 or Alt+F11 to compile and execute the code.
1. Press the F12 key to open the "Save As" dialog box for Word, PowerPoint, etc.
2. Press Ctrl + F12 to open the Open dialog in a Microsoft Office program.
3. Ctrl + Shift + F12 starts print preview in Microsoft Office programs such as Word and PowerPoint.
4. F12 opens Chrome Dev Tools, Firebug and other browser debugging tools.
5. Press the F12 key to display all bootable devices on the computer for you to select at startup.
Proficient use of Windows function keys will work better
You should now know more about the Windows function keys, which, like other keyboard shortcuts, can help you be more productive.What's more, if something goes wrong with your computer mouse, you can always turn to the F keys as a temporary measure.
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