What are the F keys on my keyboard are they useful?
The F1 -F12 keys or function keys are designed to provide shortcuts for operating systems and programs. Depending on the operating system or program these F keys can have different functions.
On some keyboards you will notice that there is something else on the F key as well as its number for example see the picture below. These provide additional functions by holding the FN key on your keyboard as you press the relevant F key.
List of Functions for F keys in windows
These keys can perform different functions depending on the operating system and the program so the list below is a basic list that works on Windows 7 and Vista. We will do a post at some point for the function keys on the Mac.
F1 Key – Normally F1 brings up a help screen this usually happens on most programs on windows. For example if you were on your desktop screen and pressed F1 you would get the windows help but if you were in word and pressed F1 you would get words help screen.
F2 Key – Allows you to rename an item when you click on it. For example go to a document in your documents and click it once to highlight it and then press F2.
F3 Key – This function key tends to bring up the search facility of the program you are in. For example if on your desktop it will bring up the windows search window but if in a browser like Firefox it will bring up the Firefox search tool.
F4 Key – This does not have much use until combined with other keys on windows desktop. For example ALT and F4 will bring up the shutdown menu or in your browser will close open windows. In word the
F4 Key - Repeats the last action. For example if you type “this is a test sentence” and then pressed F4 that sentence would be repeated again.
F5 Key – This seems to be the most used F key as when used in a web browser it refreshes the current page. In Microsoft office it brings up the find and replace options.
F6 Key – Cycles from one window to another.
F7 Key – No function in windows but in word it brings up the spell checker.
F8 Key – Used to access safe mode.
F9 Key – No use in windows sometimes used in individual programs
F10 Key – In most programs this activates the menu bar at the top of a program
F11 Key – In Firefox and internet explorer and other programs this allows you to go to full screen mode. To come out of full screen mode press F11 again.
F12 Key – In windows this does not really have any function but in a lot of programs including Word it is used to open the save file box.