An Explanation of “Function Keys” in Windows 7, 8, & 10

7-18-2017 9-42-10 AM
What are the F1, F2, F3, etc. keys on your keyboard?
Have you ever wondered what the F1, F2, F3 keys do on the top of your keyboard?  Have you ever accidentally hit one of those keys while typing, expecting all of your hard work to be erased, only to find that nothing much  happens?
Believe it or not, these keys, defined as “function keys” do serve a purpose.  Unlike most keys on a keyboard, function keys have the ability to perform different functions depending on whether a user is on a Windows desktop, the Internet, or using an application.
Here’s a look at what function keys F1-12 do on a Windows 7, 8, and 10 computer:


Opens up the application or program’s Help Window.  For example, if you are browsing in Google Chrome, hitting F1 will bring up the Chrome Help Center.  Similar windows will open if a user is working in Microsoft Office, Outlook, etc.


In Microsoft Word, this key has multiple uses. Hitting F2 allows you to move highlighted text from one area of the document to another.  Ctrl-F2 will open up the print window while Ctrl-Alt-F2 will open the “File Open” function for documents.


Shift-F3 changes a highlighted piece of text into upper or lower case letters in Microsoft Word.
Function 2
On programs such as Microsoft Outlook and Internet browsers, pressing F3 will open up a search bar.


Ctrl-F4 in Microsoft Word and Internet browsers will close the document you are working on but keep the application open thereby allowing you to open up another document.  Alt-F4 in will close both the document and the application.


Hitting F5 refreshes your page in Internet browsers.
In Microsoft Word, it opens up the Find and Replace window.


Toggles between documents in Microsoft Word.  For example if you have 3 documents open hitting Alt-F6 will allow you to scroll through your open documents.
For Internet browsers, F6 will highlight the website address allowing you to copy, delete, etc.


Hitting F7 will open up the Spelling and Grammar check window in Microsoft Word.


Activates the Startup menu in Windows.


Alt-F9 in Microsoft Word will highlight and expand the presence of hyperlinks within a document.


Ctrl-F10 in Microsoft Word will minimize the screen.
Shift-F10 in Internet browsers over a highlighted portion of text will perform a right-mouse click function and bring up the tool bar listing actions that can be performed.


In Internet browsers, it allows you to enter full screen mode.


Opens the “File Save As” window in Microsoft Word.
Courtney Rosebush is a Marketing and Sales Coordinator at Triella, a technology consulting firm specializing in providing technology audits, planning advice, project management and other CIO-related services to small and medium sized firms. Courtney can be reached at 647.426.1004 x 227. For additional articles, go to Triella is a VMware Professional Partner, Microsoft Certified Partner, Citrix Solution Advisor – Silver, Dell Preferred Partner, Authorized Worldox Reseller and a Kaspersky Reseller.
© 2017 by Triella Corp. All rights reserved. Reproduction with credit is permitted.

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