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What are the F ing keys for?

keyboard.jpgA regular request from readers (not users of Macs, though) is an explanation of what on earth the "F" keys at the top of the keyborad are for.  They are mysteriously labelled F1, F2, F3 and so forth.

Well, here is a short list of some of them, to whet your appetite:

F1 - press this and the Help box should appear - this works with most programs

F2 - In Word, Ctrl + F2, releases the Print Preview window

F3 - used to open a "Search" window

F4 - In Word, F4 will repeat the last action. If you just typed a long bit, and want to type it again (but why?), just pressF4.

F5 - F5 will refresh the content on the web page you are looking at, in case it has changed since the last time you looked.

F6 - Moves the cursor to the address bar and highlights the current address.

F7 - In Word, F7 automatically runs the Spellchecker, and Shift+F7 activates the Thesaurus

F11 - switches back and forth from Full Screen Mode. Try it and see what changes.

You are unlikely to break anything by having a go, so experiment - and let me know if you discover something amazing.


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Reader Comments (7)

In Word; Shift+F3 cycles though capitalisation of words which the caret occupies. thus; word - Word - WORD - word. I find this useful.
August 18, 2007 | Unregistered Commentermikewilcox
NB: these don't apply to Macs
August 19, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterDavid
Like the F-ing keys, the CTRL keys can save wrist and finger damage caused by grasping mouse (I speak from personal experience). Works in most programs - don't know if works on macs.

Press CTRL and at the same time one of the keys below to get useful shortcuts:

Y - repeats whatever you did last eg insert row on a table
Z - undoes your last action

A - selects everything on the page

C - copies what is highlighted

V - pastes what was copied last

B - toggles between bolding / unbolding what is highlighted, in word and other programs

August 28, 2007 | Unregistered Commentermaggy simms
F2 activates a filename for renaming

In Microsoft Office
CTRL plus...
I — toggles between italic and roman for selected text
U — toggles between underlined/non-underlined
S — saves the file
O — opens a file
F — opens a find window
X — cuts what is highlighted
September 2, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterFrankO
Ctrl has lots of shortcuts. I particularly like Ctrl and 2 (double-line spacing) Ctrl and 1 (back to single line spacing) and Ctrl and 5 (one and a half line spacing. I've never used this but enjoy knowing it.
September 3, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMary
My mac doesn't have F keys, it only has buttons. I've had it for almost 40 years and it still keeps off the rain.
September 10, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterZorba Eisenhower
Thanks for the F ing keys bit. Tried what you gave, but, at least on my pc, F3, F7 and F11 didn't work at all - may be the way my pc is configured(?).
F4 I thought would be v useful when I write certain documents, but although it does what you say, the repeated line or whatever appears one or two lines down the page, so if I wanted the repeat immediately after the original, I'd have to back track and delete the spaces/lines, in which case i may as well have typed the whole bloody lot out again in the first place!

Nice to see the other blogs with other 'wheezes', although the main problem with all these F ing keys and 'control +' shortcuts is that there's no point in them if there's a single button that does it for you, with a nice little icon so you don't have to try to remember which F ing key does what - v important for us Oldies.
October 12, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterGraham Follett

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