Today I Learned: What The F Keys Actually Do

The F keys that sit at the top of your keyboard aren’t just useless decorations. Each as a special function that could help make your day a little easier.

F1: This is considered as the universal shortcut for help. If you press this in almost all programs, it will bring up the help menu.

F2: This key will help you edit or rename files. If you press this while selecting the file, you will be able to rename it. In Office, Ctrl+F2 will open print preview.

F3: F3 will help you search. It can search folders and files in Windows Explorer. If you press Shift + F3 in Word, it will toggle between capitalizing each word, lower case and upper case for the text you select.

F4: When you want to get to the cursor to focus on the address bar in Windows Explorer, press F4. Also, Alt+F4 will close the current program without saving the program. This is handy when you need to close something quickly.

F5: This may be the most useful of all the buttons. It will refresh for you. Whether that be when your desktop when icons are missing, your browser content isn’t cooperating, or you want to start a slide show over again in PowerPoint. Also if you press it in Office, it will open the “Find and Replace” dialog.

F6: When you are in Office, it will toggle between the menu items. When you are on the desktop, it will toggle from the desktop files to the taskbar and system tray. Also, when you are in a browser, it will toggle to the address bar.

F7: Easily access spell check in office by pressing this key. Also, Shift+F7 will run a thesaurus on a highlighted word.

F8: This is most useful in Word. Shift+F8 will allow you to shrink your current selection and Ctrl+F8 will allow you to resize the document.

F9: In Word, F9 refreshes the document. In Outlook, it will send or receive emails.

F10: Shift+F10 will function as a right-click on highlighted icons, files, and internet links. It will also activate the menu bar in the open application.

F11: This button will enter and exit fullscreen mode.

F12: This will open the “Save As” window in Microsoft Word. Shift+F12 just does a basic save and Ctrl+F12 opens a Word Doc.

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