Function keys serve as shortcuts that cause the operating system or application programs to perform quick tasks in order to save the user time. The keys may have default actions accessible on power-on or may work in combination with the Shift, Alt or Ctrl keys when interacting with an application program.
Pressing the F1 key in most programs brings up the help menu. When combined with the Windows key, it displays the Windows Help and Support dialog box.
On Windows Explorer, F2 allows computer users to quickly rename a selected file or folder.
While on the desktop or Windows Explorer, pressing F3 opens the Search box for files or folders, and on most browsers, the key launches the Find bar. Pressing Shift and F3 at the same time toggles between sentence case, lowercase and uppercase for the selected text in Microsoft Word.
The Alt and F4 combination closes the current program, and when no program is open, it launches the Shutdown dialog box. Pressing F4 on Windows Explorer or Internet Explorer moves the cursor to the address bar.
F5 performs a refresh task on Windows and all common browsers. When pressed in PowerPoint, it starts a slide show and on the desktop it launches the Windows Start Menu.
Pressing F10 in Firefox or Internet Explorer displays the menu bar, while F11 opens full-screen mode in all browsers. In Microsoft Excel, pressing the Shift and F11 keys adds a new sheet to the active workbook.
F12 opens the Save As dialog box in Microsoft Office and a combination of the Ctrl, Shift and F12 keys pastes copied text.