THE “f-numbered” KEYS

The keys F1 through F12, commonly known as the function keys on a computer keyboard are keys programmed to run some certain operating system or application program’s command. The function keys depending on the keyboard or computer may have a variety of uses; a default action or no use at all. The operating system installed on the computer and the application program in use can change how each of these keys operate. A program is capable of not only using each of the function keys, but also combining the function keys with the ALT or CTRL key. Some keyboards include additional functions on the function keys, which can be activated by pressing the FN key. The additional functions available with the use of the FN key will differ depending on the type and brand of keyboard being used.


Opens a help screen on almost every program.
Windows Key + F1 would open the Microsoft Windows help and support center.
Enter CMOS Setup.

Renames an highlighted icon, file, or folder in all versions of Windows.
Alt + Ctrl + F2 opens document window in Microsoft Word.
Ctrl + F2 displays the print preview window in Microsoft Word.
Enter CMOS Setup.

Opens a search feature for many programs including Microsoft Windows when at the Windows Desktop.
Open Mission Control on Mac OS X.
Shift + F3 will change the text in Microsoft Word from upper to lower case or a capital letter at the beginning of every word.
Windows Key + F3 opens the Advanced find window in Microsoft Outlook.
In MS-DOS or Windows command line F3 will repeat the last command.

Open the address bar in Windows Explorer and Internet Explorer.
Alt + F4 closes the program window currently active in Microsoft Windows.
Ctrl + F4 closes the open window within the current active window in Microsoft Windows.

Refreshes the page or document window in all modern Internet browsers.
Opens the find, replace, and go to window in Microsoft Word.
Starts a slideshow in PowerPoint.

Move the cursor to the Address bar in Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, and most other Internet browsers.
Reduce laptop speaker volume (on some laptops).
Ctrl + Shift + F6 opens to another open Microsoft Word document.

Commonly used to spell check and grammar check a document in Microsoft programs.
Turns on Caret browsing in Mozilla Firefox.
Increase laptop speaker volume (on some laptops)
Shift + F7 runs a Thesaurus check on the word highlighted.

Displays a thumbnail image for all workspaces in Mac OS.
Access Windows Safe Mode or Windows Recovery system which may require a Windows installation CD.

Refresh document in Microsoft Word.
Send and receive e-mail in Microsoft Outlook.
Opens the Measurements toolbar in Quark 5.0.
Reduce laptop screen brightness (on some laptops).
Displays a thumbnail for each window in a single workspace on Mac OS.
Fn + F9 at the same time opens Mission Control on Mac OS.

Activates the menu bar of an open application on Microsoft Windows.
Increase laptop screen brightness (on some laptops).
Shows all open Windows for the active programs on Mac OS
Shift + F10 is the same as right-clicking on a highlighted icon, file, or Internet link.
Access the hidden recovery partition on HP and Sony computers.
Enter CMOS Setup.

Enter and exit full screen mode in all modern Internet browsers.
Hides all open windows and shows the Desktop on Mac OS.
Access the hidden recovery partition on eMachines, Gateway, and Lenovo computers.
Ctrl + F11 on start up to access the hidden recovery partition on many Dell computers.

Open the Save as window in Microsoft Word.
Preview a page in Microsoft Expression Web.
Open Firebug or browser debug tool.
Shows or hides the dashboard on Mac OS.
Ctrl + F12 opens a document In Word.
Shift + F12 saves the Microsoft Word document (like Ctrl + S).
Ctrl + Shift + F12 prints a document in Microsoft Word.
Access the list of bootable devices on a computer at startup.


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