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The "function keys" are the "F" keys usually above the row of number keys at the top of the keyboard. The shortcuts provided by these keys may vary depending on software installed on your computer, but here is a list of the most common function key shortcuts.
- F1 - Opens the Help menu for the current program (pressing the Windows key + F1 will bring up Windows Help and Support).
- F2 - A shortcut to Rename, found on the right-click menu for folders and other items.
- F3 - A shortcut to the Find dialog box.
- F4 - Activates the address bar of a window. Alt+F4 is a shortcut to close the active window.
- F5 - Refreshes the page. This is a handy shortcut for those last minute online auctions!
- F6 - A shortcut to cycle through open windows.
- F7 - Does not have a preinstalled Windows shortcut.
- F8 - Used to enter Safe Mode during startup (you must tap it repeatedly as the computer boots up).
- F9 - Another function key without a shortcut attached, although it might have a shortcut in specific programs.
- F10 - A shortcut to the toolbar menu. You can then use the arrow keys to navigate through these menus.
- F11 - This shortcut hides the taskbar and toolbar and makes the current window full screen. This might be one you have hit on accident in the past and wondered, "Where did everything go?" Simply press F11 again to bring back the taskbar and toolbar.
- F12 - This final function key has no specific Windows shortcut, although it has uses in other applications.
Photo Credit: sxc.hu/florinf
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Alt Key Shortcuts
The Alt key, just to the right of the spacebar, is worthy of its own list of shortcuts. You may want to print or memorize this handy list.
- Alt Key - On its own, activates the toolbar menu
- Alt+Tab - Switches between all open windows.
- Alt+Escape - Goes back through all open windows
- Alt+Spacebar - Brings up the System menu, from which you can choose to restore, maximize, minimize and so on.
- Alt+ Down Arrow - Opens a drop-down list.
- Alt+ Underlined Letter - In any open dialog, will activate that command.
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Ctrl+ Keyboard Shortcuts
Another list of helpful keyboard shortcuts are those that begin with the Ctrl key. You are probably familiar with at least one of them, as nearly everyone has resorted to the rescue shortcut of Ctrl+Alt+Delete. Here is a list of other shortcuts involving the Ctrl key, which can likely be found on both the bottom left and bottom right of your keyboard.
- Ctrl+A - Selects all of the text or data in the current window.
- Ctrl+B - Shortcut for bold fonts in Office or other text-enabled programs. Shortcut for Organize Favorites in Internet Explorer.
- Ctrl+C - Keyboard shortcut for the Copy command.
- Ctrl+D - Keyboard shortcut for Bookmarking in Internet Explorer and Firefox. Opens the Font dialog in Word. Fills cells down in Excel.
- Ctrl+E - Keyboard shortcut for the Search bar.
- Ctrl+F - Opens the Find dialog.
- Ctrl+G - Keyboard shortcut for Go To in Word and Excel.
- Ctrl+H - Opens Internet Explorer or Firefox History. Shortcut to the Replace tab of the Find and Replace dialog in Office applications.
- Ctrl+I - A font shortcut for italics in applications such as Word and Excel. Opens Bookmarks in Internet Explorer or Firefox.
- Ctrl+J - This keyboard shortcut opens favorite Feeds in Internet Explorer, Downloads in Firefox, and justifies text in Office and other applications.
- Ctrl+K - A keyboard shortcut to the Insert Hyperlink dialog in Office programs or the Search bar in Firefox.
- Ctrl+L - Starts the Open dialog in Windows. Aligns text to the left in Word. Starts a List in Excel.
- Ctrl+M - A keyboard shortcut for tabbing in applicable Windows programs, such as Word.
- Ctrl+N - Opens a new window or file.
- Ctrl+O - A keyboard shortcut for the Open dialog box.
- Ctrl+P - Brings up the Print dialog. While in the Print window, you can use the Alt key plus the underlined letter on the dialog for the action you want to take. For example, if you only want to print text you have selected on a page, press Ctrl+P to open the Print dialog and then Alt+S to choose Selection.
- Ctrl+Q - Removes paragraph formatting.
- Ctrl+R - Refreshes the active window.
- Ctrl+S - Saves the active file.
- Ctrl+T - Opens a new tab in Internet Explorer or Firefox. Moves the Tab in Word.
- Ctrl+U - A font shortcut for underline.
- Ctrl+V - Keyboard shortcut for the Paste command.
- Ctrl+W - Closes the active window.
- Ctrl+X - Keyboard shortcut for the Cut command.
- Ctrl+Y - Performs the Redo or Repeat command.
- Ctrl+Z - Keyboard shortcut to Undo the last action.
Photo Credit: sxc.hu/woodsy