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Functions of F keys in Windows

Updated on April 20, 2013

Function Keys commonly known as F keys are the biggest difference between a keyboard and typewriter. Function Keys were greatly used in the days of DOS programs. But in today's Window world we can use computer without these keys. Yet these very Function keys provide some short cuts for common computer functions that we can use in our day to day computing. There are 12 keys ranging from F1 to F12 which come under the name of Function Keys. They are generally found on the top of the Keyboard. Generally, the function keys have various use or no use. Depending upon the installed Operating System and software these F keys will perform different functions. Lets see some common function this key perform on the computers running Microsoft Windows which work as shortcut for us.


1. Almost always F1 key is used as help key. Every program will open their help window when you press F1.

Like I am using MS- Word and pressed F1 then their help window will open up.

2. Windows Key + F1 will open the Windows Help and Support Center.

3. F1 also open the task pane


1. F2 helps renaming the selected file, folder, or icon in all windows version.

2. Alt + Ctrl + F2 opens the Document window in Microsoft Word.

3. Ctrl + F2 opens the print preview window in Microsoft Word.


1. F3 often opens the search windows for many programs including Microsoft window while at desktop.

2. In Ms - DOS or Windows Command Line F3 will repeat the last command.

3. When working in windows, F3 will open the Find File Window.

4. Shift + F3 will change the text for uppercase to lowercase or a Capital letter at the beginning of new word in MS - Word.

5. Windows Key + F3 opens the advanced Find window in Microsoft Outlook.


1. Open Find Window in Windows 95 to XP.

2. F4 opens the Address Bar in Internet Explorer and Windows Explorer.

3. Repeat the last action performed in Word 2000 +

4. Alt + F4 will close the program window currently active.


1. F5 key is the refresh key that work on web browser as well as on windows.

2. Opens the Find, Replace and Go To Window in Microsoft Word.

3. Starts a Slideshow in Microsoft PowerPoint.


1. Pressing F6 will move the cursor to the Address Bar in Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox or any other web browser.

2. Ctrl + Shift + F6 will open the another open document in Microsoft Word.


F7 Key does not any functionality in Windows. but it have some uses in specific programs such as:

1. Commonly used for Spell Check and Grammar Check in Microsoft Program Document.

2. Shift + F7 runs a Thesaurus check on the word selected.

3. Turns on Caret browsing in Mozilla Firefox.


1. The F8 key can be used to access safe mode during the Computer's Boot Up process.


F9 key does not have any functionality in Windows same as F7. But it has some applications in others like

1. Open Measurements Toolbar in Quark 5.0

2. With Mac 10.3 or later version show all open windows.


1. In Microsoft Windows, F10 activates the Menu bar of an open application.

2. Shift + F10 works as same as Right Click on the selected Icon, File,or Internet Link.

3. Access the hidden Recovery Partition on HP or Sony Computers.


1. By Pressing the F11 key Full Screen Mode can be activated in Internet Explorer and many other programs. And F11 also will toggle it back to Normal Mode.


F12 Key also does not have any functionality in windows along with F7 and F9 key. But various programs have its different application.

1. Open the Save As Window in Microsoft Word.

2. Shift + F12 saves the Microsoft Word Document.

3. Ctrl + Shift +F13 prints a document in Microsoft Word.

4. Preview a page in Microsoft Expression Web.

5. Open Firebug.

So you see Function keys can be extremely useful. But one thing should be kept in mind while using Functions Keys is that functionality of these keys differ from program to program. So, it is a good practice to use the help menu and see the different functions assigned to these keys for that particular program and later you will remember them.

I hope this article would be helpful to you guys. My other work on Hub pages are :

1. Financial Derivatives - Introduction

2. Financial Derivative 2

3. Short Cuts

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