What is a function key and how do you use it?

function key
What is a function key?
Function keys are commonly found on laptops, notebooks and netbooks. They are usually marked either, function, func, or fn.

When used in conjunction with other specific keys it can be used to control certain characteristics of your computer, for example, altering the brightness of the computer screen.

Where is the function key?

The function key is typically located at the bottom-left of the computer keyboard, near the CTRL and ALT keys. However, some keyboard layouts may differ, if you cannot locate the function key then see the manufacturer's documentation that came with your computer.

How to use the function key

The function key is used in the same way as the SHIFT key and the CTRL key, you hold it down while you press another key on the keyboard at the same time.

function key example
You will notice that some of the other keys on your keyboard have additional symbols on, the F keys for example, which run along the top of your keyboard "F1, F2, F3, etc" will usually have these small diagrams on the bottom-right edge of the key. See fig 1.0 for an example, here you can see our F1 key has a small padlock diagram on it.


The diagram denotes what action will be taken when the key is pressed in conjunction with the function key. The symbols vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, although some fairly common functions include locking the computer, adjusting the screen brightness, switching between an external display and the computer's own display, controlling the wireless connection, and much more.

To use the function key, hold it down with one finger, and then use your other hand (unless your hand will stretch) and press the corresponding key, finally, release the function key.
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