How To Use Your Keyboard Function Keys To Boost Productivity
Plus Free Giveaway – Printable Functions Key Commands
Keyboard Function keys are generally very underused. In fact, most folks don’t even know what they do. Well, it’s time to change all that because learning how to use them can seriously boost your productivity. So, let’s get started.
Just in case you are wondering, this is what they look like. Below, is a standard keyboard. They are made much fancier now with loads of other function keys. My kicked up keyboard has a few extra keys as well that are great for programming to use apps and run other commands.
While it’s important to note that each keyboard might have a function key designated for a specific task as well as the standard commands, it’s always a good idea to check your user manual for more info. Plus, the operating system that’s installed on the computer and the software program that is currently open generally dictates how each of these keys operate.
By combining the function keys with the ALT or CTRL keys you will also have a list of other functions as well – for example, Microsoft Windows users can press the ALT + F4 keys to close a currently active program.
Check the settings in your Control Panel as you may be able to turn off the Fn keys and enable other functions as well.
Giveaway! You can keep this sheet handy by printing it out. Keep it next to you while you work!
Click here to print Function Key Commands
- Generally used as the HELP key. Almost every program opens a help screen when this key is pressed.
- You can also use it to enter CMOS setup (CMOS refers to essential parts of your computer’s motherboard.
- Windows Key and F1 opens the Microsoft Windows Help and support center.
- Opens the Task Pane. (A task pane is a multipurpose window pane that appears on the right side of the window of an Office application.)
- Quickly rename a selected file or folder. (One of my favs)
- Ctrl+F2 opens the print preview in MS Word.
- Fn+F2 mutes the volume of your PC.
- Alt+Ctrl+F2 opens document library in MS Office.
- When clicked during the Boot Process – F2 key takes you to the BIOS setup of your PC.
- Opens Mission Control on an Apple computer running Mac OS X.
- Opens a search feature for many programs including Microsoft Windows when at the Windows Desktop.
- F3 often activates search function in different applications including the leading browsers like Google Chrome, Firefox and Microsoft Edge.
- Fn+F3 to decrease volume in some laptops.
- Click Shift + F3 to change the text in Microsoft Word from upper to lower case (another very useful function)
- Shift +F3 opens the search in Google Chrome.
- F4 is used to close the applications.
- Repeats the last action performed (Word 2000+)
- Alt+F4 closes the currently open program.
- Alt+F4 opens the shutdown option when no program is open.
- Ctrl+F4 closes a part of the running program such as a tab or a document.
- Click Fn+F4 to increase the volume in some laptops.
- F4 takes you to the address bar in Windows Explorer and Microsoft Edge.
- F4 opens a fullscreen window in some applications
- F5 Key is used to refresh a web page. (the perfect way to refresh a web page quickly)
- Refresh the list of contents in a folder.
- Click F5 to open Find & Replace window in MS Word.
- Opens the find, replace, and go to window in Microsoft Word. (perfect!)
- Starts a slideshow when clicked in PowerPoint.
- Fn+F5 decreases brightness on your monitor on some laptops.
- Move the cursor to the address bar in most Internet browsers.
- Ctrl + Shift + F6 opens to another open Microsoft Word document.
- Reduces laptop speaker volume (on some laptops).
- Fn+F6 increases the brightness of your monitor on some laptops
- F7 opens spelling and grammar checker in MS Word. Perfect for use in programs like MS Word, Outlook, etc.
- Shift+F7 opens thesaurus in MS Word.
- Fn+F7 opens second screen options in some laptops and opens display scheme in some laptops.
- Increase laptop speaker volume (on some laptops).
- Commonly used to start your Windows PC in Safe Mode.
- Takes you to Windows Recovery system at times.
- Displays a thumbnail image for all workspaces in Mac OS.
- F9 key will update your document (MS Word).
- Click F9 to send or receive email in Microsoft Outlook – I use this one every day!
- To Refresh a document in Microsoft Word.
- Reduce laptop screen brightness (on some laptops).
- F10 Key opens Menu Bar in the open application.
- Increase laptop screen brightness (on some laptops)
- With Mac OS 10.3 or later, shows all open Windows for the active program.
- Shift + F10 is the same as right-clicking on a highlighted icon, file, or Internet link.
- Enters and exits Full-Screen Mode in almost every popular browser – I use this one all the time too!
- CTRL+F11 opens the hidden recovery options in some Windows laptops.
- Alt+F11 opens the Visual Basic Editor.
- With Mac OS 10.4 or later, hides all open windows and shows the Desktop.
- When working in MS Word – click F12 to open Save As window. Great shortcut!
- Win+F12 saves your document in MS Word.
- CTRL+F12 opens a document in MS Word.
- Ctrl + Shift + F12 prints a document in Microsoft Word.
- Opens Inspect Element in popular web browsers. This is great for bloggers!
- With an Apple running Mac OS 10.4 or later – F12 shows or hides the Dashboard.
- Also allows you to access the list of bootable devices on a computer at startup, allowing you to select a different device to boot from (hard drive, CD or DVD drive, floppy drive, USB drive, and network).
♦ Side Note: If your keyboard does not have a row of function keys, they are probably set up as secondary functions on other keys that are similar to the Fn functions above. Some laptop keyboards are set up this way to save space.
I hope you’ve enjoyed learning some cool stuff today! These function commands have made life so much more productive for me, and I know they will for you as well.
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