How useful are the Function keys on your keyboard?

Unless you are a computer geek, programmer or a lover of keyboard shortcuts, it is very likely that you do not know what some of the function keys on our keyboard are for. What’s more, you probably only use one or two of them and don’t even know what functions the others have. And it is that some of these keys have such specific functions that they are not usually used by most users. However, so that you really know what each function key is for, we are going to reveal the mystery to you.

By the way, before getting into the matter, a brief reminder. The functions that we indicate here are the common ones, but certain applications may include different uses for these keys. Something common in highly specialized applications, which can get more out of these function keys.

Function key utilities

F1: It is one of the best known and our lifesaver when we have problems. And it is that this key is used to launch the help of the program that we are using.

F2: This key is used to change the name of a file that we have previously selected, saving us from selecting that option with the right mouse click.

F3 : Open the search function. If we run it in a browser or document, it opens the search function of said application, while if we press it on the desktop, it will be the Windows search function that opens.

F4 : By itself, this key has no function. But combined with the ‘Alt’ key, it allows us to close the application that we are using. If we combine it with ‘Ctrl’, what we will do is close a tab or document of it.

F5 : This is also one of the known ones. It is used to refresh the web page that we are seeing at the moment.

F6 : The F6 key takes us directly to the address bar when we are surfing the net. So we can save the mouse when writing URLs. If we use it in Word, it helps us to move through the options on the bottom bar such as the number of pages, word count or spell check.

F7 : The F7 key is not one of the best known keys on the keyboard. Among its utilities we have to open the spell checker in Word or change the cursor mode in Firefox. However, in almost no application is it useful.

F8 : The F8 key has a primary function in starting up our computer. And it is that if we press the same just before Windows starts, we can access the boot menu of the computer. From this menu it is possible to start the computer in safe mode, safe mode or restore mode. Something that should be known when the operating system is not working as well as it should.

F9: The F9 key is an orphan key, since it has no function assigned to it. It only works in those applications or programs that have decided to give it a specific functionality.

F10 : With the F10 key we directly access the menu of the application that we are using, being possible to move through it with the cursor keys. If we combine this function key with the ‘Shift’ key, we will right-click on the point where the cursor or arrow is located, being able to move through the corresponding contextual menu.

F11 : The F11 key is useful when we want to see a full page web. Pressing this key means entering directly into this mode, where all the elements of the browser other than the web disappear, although we can see the open tabs and the address bar by moving the mouse to the top edge of the screen. To exit this mode, just press Escape or the F11 key once more.

F12 : Another function key adjusted. If we use it in a browser we will open the console to see its HTML code. In applications like Word, this key is used to execute the ‘Save As’ command, with which to save our work.

The ‘FN’ key and laptops

If you have a modern laptop or desktop keyboard, the function keys may have a second element printed on them, usually in blue, indicating that there are additional functions for them. These additional functions are activated by the combination of the ‘FN’ key, usually located at the bottom of the keyboard, next to the corresponding function key. Let’s see the most common:

F3 : This key is used to activate or deactivate WiFi connectivity, being useful to save energy when we do not need to connect.

F4 : With this function we can “sleep” the computer. In other words, leaving it in a state of hibernation with reduced battery consumption and that allows us to activate it in just seconds, to continue where we had left off with our work.

F5 and F6 : These two keys allow you to modify the way the equipment works once it is connected with a projector. Specifically, the F5 key sends the signal to the projector or screen and removes it from the laptop screen, while with F6 we keep the image on both screens.

F7 : This key allows you to activate and deactivate the touchpad area of ​​the laptop. Useful for when we are not going to use it because we have a separate mouse, for example.

F8 : With this key we can activate the mute for the volume or deactivate it if it is already established.

In addition to these FN keys integrated into the function keys, it is also common to find these keys on the cursor, to modify the volume and brightness level of the screen, or on other keys on the keyboard, allowing other functions to be executed. It’s all a matter of seeing the impressions of each key and looking for the functions that may interest us at all times.

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