The Function of the Function Keys

By | August 23, 2020
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The Function of the Function Keys

They’re called Function Keys but most of us call them the “F” keys. They’re at the top of your keyboard, and for the most part, they go unused. But they can be very useful. Here are some functions you can perform with a tap on an “F” key.

F1 FOR HELP
The F1 key when using a program will open its help file.

F2 TO RENAME
Select and highlight a file or folder and press the F2 key to quickly rename that file or folder. You can also use the F2 keyboard shortcut to rename multiple files in batch mode. Just select multiple files using your mouse and press F2 to rename the selected files.

F3 TO SEARCH
F3 will launch a search bar when using a web browser like Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Firefox, etc.

F4 TO SELECT ADDRESS BAR IN EXPLORER
Pressing the F4 key toggles and highlights the address bar of Windows Explorer (File Explorer) when Windows Explorer (File Explorer) is open.

F5 IS REFRESHING
You can quickly refresh to view updated contents of a folder or items on the Windows desktop by pressing the F5 key. You can also use the F5 key to refresh a Web page while using your favorite Web browser.

F11 TO GO FULL SCREEN
To view more of a Web page without the clutter of menu bars, toolbars, etc., press the F11 while visiting a Web site. To go back to your normal browser window, just press the F11 key again.

NOTE: If you’re using a laptop you may have to hold down the Fn key while using some of the F keys. For instance, on my laptop, to view a web page in a browser full screen, I must hold down the Fn key (located directly to the right of the left CTRL key on the bottom of my keyboard).

4 thoughts on “The Function of the Function Keys

  1. Virginia Borders

    Thank you, Cloudeight. I am determined to learn how to use these F keys. So I’ve copied them and placed them in my nearby “HowTo” folder for future use, until I learn them. But . . . what about the F6 thru F10 keys? And poor F12 left dangling all alone? On my keyboard, F9 thru F11 have volume icons (plus, minus, etc) and my F12 key has a block of 4 icons: plus, minus, times & equal. Is this one for mathematics? How? And my F4 has a musical note icon, what’s with that? Are not all keyboards created equal?

    Reply
    1. infoave Post author

      Keyboards vary. Different computer manufacturers used function keys in different ways. Laptops are different. The purpose of the article was a general intro to some function keys that are generally the same on all keyboards — generally but not always.

      Reply

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