The function keys are the special keys on the keyboard and perform different functions on pressing them either in stand-alone or in combination with other keys like Alt or Ctrl. These function keys are found on the top row of the keyboard and operate on both Windows and Macintosh operating systems.
On laptops and multimedia keyboards the top line of the keyboard comes with different functions that include brightness, volume control, wifi, zoom, mic, mute and much more. On these keyboards, you can still use the Function keys (F1 to F12) by pressing the Fn key.
Purpose of Different Function keys
F1 key is used to get help about OS and apps. On pressing the F1, a help window will open related to the app you are working upon.
F1 is also used to open the CMOS or BIOS settings on most of the laptops and desktop systems.
This functional key is commonly used to rename the files or folder names. On some systems, you use F2 to enter CMOS settings on system bootup.
F2 when used in combination with Alt+Ctrl, opens a new word file and Ctrl+F2 opens a print-preview of the currently opened file in Microsoft Word. In Microsoft Excel, pressing Alt+F2 opens a Save-as window.
This key is used to activate or open the search bar in both windows and internet browsers.
Ctrl+F3 in combination is used to convert the characters from upper to lower case in Microsoft Word and F3 when used with shift key will convert the alphabets to upper case.
Pressing Alt+F4 function keys will close the currently opened window on your screen. If there is no active app on the screen, Alt+F4 will open the shutdown dialog box of the Windows OS.
If you are working in MS word, pressing F4 key alone will repeat the last action performed on word-sheet.
F5 Function Key
This function key is used to reload or refresh the windows screen or browsers. In a word document, pressing F5 key open a “Find and Replace” dialog box. In Microsoft PowerPoint, pressing F5 initiates the slideshow.
No matter where your cursor is, pressing the function key F6 will immediately shift your cursor to the address bar in any internet browser.
If you are working on multiple word documents, pressing F6 helps you to shift between different word pages.
Functional key F7 is handy in opening spelling and grammar dialog box and when F7 is pressed along with the shift key in a word document, it will open a research window.
F8 is usually used by IT engineers to enter the safe mode in windows based system during the start of the booting process.
In Mac systems, F8 is used to display thumbnail images of the workspace.
If you are using Microsoft outlook, F9 can be used as a shortcut key to send and receive emails.
Pressing the F10 key in a software activates and highlights the Menu bar icons and a combination of shift+F10 will result in right-click in any app or windows screen. On some laptops and computers, F10 key is used to enter the BIOS setup.
The most common use of F11 is to enter and exit the full-screen mode in Internet browsers. In excel workbook, you can add a new sheet by pressing shift+F11 and adds a new macro by pressing Ctrl+F11.
By pressing Ctrl+F12 in any Microsoft Office program, you open the Computer browse screen to open any of the saved document or file.
If you only press the F12 function key, it will open “Save-As” dialog box in MS-office programs and shift+F12 saves the current file just like pressing Ctrl+S.
On most of the computer systems, pressing F12 during boot-up of Windows OS, you get the list of drives to select the preferred bootable device.