Monday, December 18

Keys You Probably Never Use

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Keys You Never Use

The keypad for your computer has many keys besides QWERTY and numbers. Some of them you have probably never used.

PrtScr/SysRq   This key used to capture whatever was on the screen and send it to the printer. These days it just captures it and saves it. It can then be copied into Paint or another program. The SysRq part of this key no longer has a function. It came from IBM systems a long time ago. 

Pause/Break   This key does not do much these days. It came from the old days of teletypes. It will, maybe, stop the downloading of a program. If you are using Microsoft stuff, pressing the Windows key and the Break key will bring up System Properties. Other than that, if you are not writing programs that key just takes up space. If you write programs and you manage to create an infinite loop (everybody that writes programs has done that at some point) you can hit “break” and it will probably stop. Probably.

Most people never use any of the “F” keys on the top row. Some of them have assigned functions and the others can have a specific function designated.

F1 is usually for help. F1 plus the Windows key opens Microsoft windows help.

F2 is commonly used to rename a file. Why you would want to do it that way, I do not know. For most documents you can just right-click the document and one of the options that comes up is “Rename”.

F3 customarily opens search.

F4 does a few things. It can open a “find” window. In Microsoft Office F4 repeats the last action performed. ALT+F4 closes the active program.

F5 refreshes the screen, which you can also do with the little curling arrow at the top of your browser.

F6 moves the cursor to the address bar of your browser.

F8 is customarily used at start-up, when you want to open in safe mode.

F9 does not do much with a Windows system.

F10 opens a menu bar for your current application.

F11 maximizes the browser window.

F12 opens “save as”.

Have you ever used “Page Up” or “Page Down”? Neither have I.

The tilde and accent key (~ ` ) is for adding that mark to a letter. ñ

To make that work, at least with my stuff, you have to hold CTRL and Shift and hit the key for the tilde. Release and then type “n”. Otherwise you end up with ~n.

Some keyboards also have a mute button, usually above the right-hand numerical pad. Very convenient for noisy pop-ups.

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