On a Compaq's keyboard, you will see more keys than just the letters and numbers. The F1 through F12 keys at the top of the keyboard are known as the function keys. These keys perform different functions, either when used alone or in conjunction with other keys. The function keys combine with the Fn (Function) key to create hotkeys, which are shortcuts to different commands. Depending on the program you're using, like the Internet or Microsoft Word, the function changes.
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Probably the most common function key, F1 brings up a help menu for whatever program you're working in.
F2 renames a selected file, so highlight the name of the file you'd like to rename and press F2. Use the hotkey combination of F2 + Ctrl + Alt to open a new Microsoft Word document. In Microsoft Excel, F2 edits the active cell.
F3 opens a search box where you can search through e-mail, documents, pictures, music and other files. One Microsoft Word feature is to use F3 + Shift to change your text from upper case to lower case letters. In Microsoft Excel, F3 pastes a defined name into a formula.
F4 highlights the URL address bar when working in a browser window and copies text when working in Microsoft Word. In other programs, like Microsoft Excel, F4 repeats the last action or command.
Refreshing information is the primary function of F5. If your current web page is not loading correctly press F5 instead of clicking the Refresh icon. In Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Word, F5 opens the Find or Go To dialogue box.
F6 moves among various open programs in the taskbar or moves between windows while different programs are open. In Microsoft Word and Excel, F6 goes to the next pane or frame.
F7 brings up the spellcheck function in Microsoft Word and Excel, but its different functions change according to different programs. F7 also brings up caret browsing in Mozilla Firefox.
F8 is used to select text in Microsoft Word or to access Safe Mode while the computer is booting up. F8 is also the extend key, able to turn the Extend mode on or off in Microsoft Excel, and extending a selection in Microsoft Word.
F9 selects applications on the computer desktop. Then press "Enter" to open the application or program. F9 is a useful key in Microsoft Excel, for it calculates a cell in the spreadsheet. In Microsoft Word, F9 updates selected fields.
Select the menu bar or close an open menu in many programs like Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, or Internet Explorer with F10.
When your Internet browser window suddenly becomes full screen and you're not sure why, you've pressed F11. Pressing it again restores your window to the smaller size. F11 also creates a chart of Microsoft Excel data in the current range.
In Internet Explorer, F12 brings up the View Source function, which shows you the HTML coding for the web page. F12 is also commonly used as a save key, bringing up the Save As dialogue box in both Microsoft Word and Excel.
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