Finally! A Definitive List of What Those F1 – F12 Keys Do

You can stop wondering about those function keys. We have the answer.

Finally!-A-Definitive-List-of-What-Those-F1---F12-Keys-DoPhoto: Shutterstock/Tatiana Ayazo, RD.com

Haven’t you always wondered what those little function keys at the top of your keyboard do? You’ve probably only used them to adjust your volume or screen brightness, but they actually do a lot more. Keep in mind that some of these function key shortcuts are different depending on the type of computer you have. You’re also able to change these features, and some computers come with pre-set functions for these keys that you have to change manually.

So before slamming the keyboard in frustration trying to get them to work, go into your settings and see how your computer has been set up. Pressing the fn button with the F keys will typically enable them to work. (Here’s why the letters on a computer keyboard aren’t in alphabetical order.)

Here’s the answer to the mystery of those function keys. You’ll be surprised by how much they can do. And while you’re at it, find out how often you need to back up your computer!

F1

  • Opens help menu when pressed with Windows button
  • Hides/displays ribbon menu in Excel and Word when hit with Control button

F2

  • Alt + Ctrl + F2 opens Document Library in Microsoft Office
  • Allows you to edit the selected folder or file name in Windows Explorer

F3

  • Opens search feature in Windows Explorer
  • Shift + F3 lets you change from lowercase to uppercase to all caps in Word
  • Opens find feature in Firefox and Chrome

F4

  • Alt + F4 closes window
  • Places the cursor in the address bar in Explorer

F5

  • Starts slideshow in PowerPoint
  • Refreshes Internet browser pages
  • Opens Find and Replace in Microsoft Office

F6

  • Goes to the next page in a split screen in Microsoft Word
  • Ctrl + F6 lets you easily switch between Word documents

F7

  • Alt + F7 does a spelling and grammar check in Microsoft Word
  • Shift + F7 open Thesaurus in Microsoft Word

F8

  • In Excel, enables extend mode for arrow keys
  • Enables safe mode in Windows

F9

  • Ctrl + F9 inserts empty fields into Word
  • Updates fields in Word

F10

  • Opens menu bar
  • Ctrl + F10 maximizes window in Word
  • Shift + F10 does the same thing as a right click

F11

  • Exits and enter full screen mode in browsers
  • Shift + F11 adds a new spreadsheet in Excel

F12

  • Opens Save As in Word
  • Shift + F12 saves Word document
  • Ctrl + F12 opens Word document

Next, check out these 10 tricks to make your computer run faster.

Originally Published on Reader's Digest

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