How To Use Function Keys On Your Keyboard

Function Keys

Nothing fancy! No flashy pictures this time!

I think we all know that Function Keys exist on our keyboard but it is very surprising to me that most of us have no idea what they do or how useful they can be to save time and keystrokes when computing. So I deem it high time that you be made aware of just how handy these Function Keys are!

Follow the steps below to learn:

  • F1 – I don’t know about you, but many times I find myself in need of help! The primary function of the F1 key is to open up the support menu for any program you are using. You can also hit your F1 key and the Windows button for Microsoft Help and support!
  • F2 – Rumor has it that this key will let you rename a file or folder on your computer (I have not tried this). It can also be used as a volume button. Not only that, but if you type Alt + CTRL +F2 it will open a document in Word!
  • F3 – Use this function to open a search window in a specific program (i.e., Word, Excel, etc.).
  • Need to capitalize a lot of words in your document? Highlight the word and type Shift + F3 to capitalize the first letter of a word. After that, just select a word and type F4 to do the same.
  • If you type the Windows key + F3 it will open an advanced find pane in Outlook.
  • Using Apple? The F3 key will open Mission Control.
  • F4 – Perhaps you have wandered into an Internet site accidentally or you are checking Facebook or your personal eMail account while at work and need to exit quickly and seamlessly, then simply type Alt + F4 or CTRL + F4. It will automatically close the current window (without saving).
  • Type F4 while on the Internet to open the address bar without touching your mouse.
  • In Word, F4 will repeat the last action you have performed!
  • F5 – If your Internet connection is slowing, type the F5 key while your browser is open to refresh the page you are on.
  • If you want to completely refresh your browser and clear the cache, type CTRL + F5.
  • Also, in Word you can use F5 to open the Find and Replace or to start a new slideshow in PowerPoint!
  • F6 – If you are typing and want to save time (and who doesn’t want to?), use your F6 key to move the cursor to the website browser of choice.
  • Type CTRL + Shift + F6 to open a new Word document. (This key may also act as a volume button on some laptops and/or it may turn your mouse pad on or off.)
  • F7 – If you are busy keying in text in your Word document, type F7 to run a spell/grammar check. type Shift + F7 to open a thesaurus on a highlighted word!
  • If you use Firefox, F6 will turn on Caret browsing.
  • F8 – The F8 key will open Windows Safe Mode (very helpful if you think you have a virus). If you have an installation CD, you can use this key to run a recovery on your computer also.
  • On a Mac, the F8 key shows thumbnails for all open work spaces.
  • F9 – On OS 10.3, the F9 key is used to show thumbnail images of work spaces.
  • The F9 key will send an eMail in Outlook, open a measurement toolbar in Quark 5.0 and reduce screen brightness on some laptops!
  • Type Fn + F9 to open Mission control on Mac OS X.
  • F10 –  The F10 key will open the menu bar of an application or on Windows 10 it also will open the option to send your project display to another screen.
  • If you type Shift + F10, it is the same as right-clicking on an icon or Internet link.
  • In IOS, the F10 key will show all open windows.
  • F11 – Type F11 to get into and out of full-screen mode on your Internet browser.
  • In IOS, the F11 key will hide all open windows.
  • In Excel, type Shift +  F11 to add a new worksheet to your workbook.
  • F12 – When working in a document and you do not want to stop, type F12 to open the Save As window in Word.
  • Type CTRL + F12 to open a document while in Microsoft Word.
  • Shift + F12 will save your document.
  • CTRL + Shift + F12 will print your document.
  • In IOS 10.4 or later, the F12 key will show and hide your dashboard.
  • At start up, you can type the F12 key to decide which bootable device to use.

I know these tips will prove useful to you and if you like them, share them with your friends!

4 thoughts on “How To Use Function Keys On Your Keyboard”

  1. This list is certainly not complete The two I use are not mentioned here.

    I use F4 in Excel to toggle a cell reference in a formula between Absolute, Mixed, and Relative – A1, $A$1, A$1, $A1

    I use F9 in Outlook to prompt Send/Receive

  2. You are quite correct Tony! I guess I should have been more accurate in my portrayal. By no means was my article the be all – end of of the uses of Function keys. My article was just SOME of the uses of function keys.

    I would love hear more more of the function keys that folks use on an every day basis.

    I will try to do another article covering more of them.

    Thank you for your input!

  3. Aha!
    I use the Function 9 button for “quick Render” with 3dsMax.
    Saves going to the Menu and clicking away.

    Sorry, have never used Excel or Word !
    Must be among the very very few. 🙂

    Thanks Carol for all that the info. Very useful.

Comments are closed.

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