Windows Hotkey Shortcuts That Use the Function Keys F1- F12


Are you taking full advantage of the row of keys across the top of the keyboard that are known as function keys? They are the ones labeled F1 through F12. They provide a variety of hotkey shortcuts in numerous Windows applications but many people pay them scant attention.

Their exact function may vary from application to application but there are some general rules as well. Here are some of the common shortcuts that use these keys; learn these hotkeys and save time and effort.

Some uses for function keys in Windows
Key        Function
F1 Brings up a Help window in many applications, including browsers, Microsoft Office and others
F2 Renames a selected object
F3 Opens search box in browsers
F4 Displays the Address bar list in My Computer or Windows Explorer (Windows XP)
F5 Updates the active Window. Useful to refresh a displayed page in a browser
F6 Cycles through the screen elements in a window
F7 Turn on/off Caret Mode (Firefox). Performs Spell and Grammar check (MS Word)
F8 Extend selection (MS Office)
F9 Updates fields (MS Office)
F10 Activates menu bar options
F11 Toggles between full screen and normal display in browsers
F12 Opens "Save as" dialog (MS Office)

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This tips section is maintained by Vic Laurie. Vic runs a Windows blog called The PC Informant and also operates a computer education website.

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