STANDARD  KEYBOARD  KEYS

Although this section is aimed at explaining the FN (Function) key found on a laptop keyboard, and more precisely its modifier/combination keys, I will also be explaining some of the common keys found on both a standard keyboard and a laptop keyboard.


Laptop Function Keys

BACKSPACE is used to delete the character to the left of the cursor. For example. If you have WINDOWS typed out and the text cursor is to the right of the letter N, pressing BACKSPACE will delete N so that you are left with WIDOWS. The text cursor will then be to the right of the letter I. Pressing BACKSPACE again would delete the letter I, leaving you with WDOWS. The text cursor will then be to the right of the letter W. And so on.


Laptop Function Keys

TAB (Tabulation) is used to move between (select) objects such as Edit Boxes, Buttons, Tick Boxes, Microsoft Excel Cells, Microsoft Word Table Cells and so on. It is also used to create spaces (tabs) in a document, which in turn can be used to evenly space words/sentences.



Laptop Function Keys

CAPS LOCK is used with an alphabetical character (a to z) to make that character UPPERCASE (big). Pressing the CAPS LOCK key once puts the keyboard in UPPERCASE mode and turns on the Caps Lock light. Pressing the CAPS LOCK key once again, for a second time, puts the keyboard back in lowercase (small character) mode. Example: Press CAPS LOCK once and then press g for example, to turn that g into G.


Laptop Function Keys

SHIFT is roughly the same as CAPS LOCK except that it does not lock the keyboard in UPPERCASE mode like CAPS (CAPITALS) LOCK does. Therefore, you must press the SHIFT key each time you want an alphabetical character in UPPERCASE. Example: Press the left or right SHIFT key, and while you keep it pressed (held down), press an alphabetical key (i.e. g) about a second later to make that alphabetical character UPPERCASE (i.e. G).


Laptop Function Keys

Besides SHIFT being used to capitalize (UPPERCASE) an alphabetical character it is also used to display the characters above non-alphabetical characters. Example: Press the left or right SHIFT key, and while you keep it pressed (held down), press the number 2 key for example to display the " (Double Quotes) character. And to display the AT sign for example you would press SHIFT and then the @ key.


Laptop Function Keys

CTRL (Control) is commonly used in combination with the SHIFT key and/or the ALT key, together with an alphabetical character key, to execute a procedure/function. And it can also be used in combination with other keys (i.e. with the F keys and the TAB key). Example: Press the CTRL key and ALT key together, and while keeping them pressed (held down), press the ESC key to bring up Windows Task Manager.


Laptop Function Keys

WINDOWS LOGO is primarily used to bring up the START Menu, but is also used as a modifier - A modifier key is a key that modifies the function of another key when it is pressed with that other key. Example: Press, and keep pressed (held down), WINDOWS LOGO while you then press 2 (the number two key). This will launch the second application on your Quick Launch Toolbar, which in my case is the Switch Between Windows application. WINDOWS LOGO modified the functionality of the number 2 key, which would normally only display the number 2. Another example is WINDOWS LOGO and then M. This will minimize all windows.


Laptop Function Keys

ALT (Alternate) is commonly used in combination with the SHIFT key and/or the CTRL key, together with an alphabetical character key, to execute a procedure/function. And it can also be used in combination with other keys (i.e. with the F keys and the TAB key). Example: Press the ALT key, and while keeping it pressed (held down), press the A key to close the currently active window. If there is no active window open ALT + A (as it is expressed) opens up the Shut Down message requester.


Laptop Function Keys

ALT GR is a modifier key just like ALT, SHIFT, CTRL for example. Meaning. It modifies the function of another key when it is pressed with that other key. Pressing the A key on its own for example displays the A character whereas pressing the A key whilst ALT GR is pressed down produces an accented A (Á). SHIFT + 4 displays the dollar ($) sign whereas ALT GR + 4 displays the euro (€) sign.


Laptop Function Keys

ESC (Escape) is used to cancel (quit, abort, exit or close) a program, piece of software or a function (i.e. an animation or slideshow).




Laptop Function Keys

Print Scr (Print Screen) is used to make a copy of the screen. For example. If you press PRT SCR a snapshot of the entire monitor screen will be placed in the computer's memory, but nothing will physically happen. It is only when you PASTE the memory (snapshot) into a document or art package for example that you can then view that snapshot. So if you open Microsoft Word or Paint and then click on its EDIT menu and select the PASTE menu-item, or press the keyboard keys CTRL and V together, you can then view the snapshot of the entire monitor screen and also save that snapshot as a document (i.e. snapshot.docx) or picture (i.e. snapshot.jpg). SysRq has nothing to do with PRT SCR.


Laptop Function Keys

ENTER (RETURN) is normally used (pressed) to go down one line in a document for example, but it is also used instead of clicking on a SEARCH, YES or OK button. For example. "Do you want to proceed - YES or NO". Pressing the ESC key might cancel the operation, which is the equivalent of clicking on a NO, EXIT or CLOSE button whereas pressing ENTER is equivalent of clicking on a YES, PROCEED, NEXT, SEARCH or OK button. In other words. Pressing ENTER is the same as clicking on a positive response button.


Laptop Function Keys

INS (INSERT) is used to toggle between Text Mode and Insert (Over-Type) Mode. Text Mode is the normal typing mode and Insert Mode is when you press a key and it over types/writes the character at the current text-cursor position. For example: You have typed SOFTWARE and want to quickly change it to HARDWARE. Many people will delete HARDWARE and then type out SOFTWARE. However, with Insert Mode simply position the text-cursor one character to the left of S, press the INSERT key once, and type out HARD. When you have finished simply press the INSERT key once again to revert back to Text Mode. Insert Mode automatically jumps to the character on the right of the text-cursor.


Laptop Function Keys

HOME is normally used to get back to the beginning of a document, sentence or word for example.




Laptop Function Keys

END is normally used to get to the end of a document, sentence or word for example.




Laptop Function Keys

PAGE UP is normally used to scroll a document one page up. If PAGE UP is used with the SHIFT key pressed in a document for example the page moves up and the text is automatically highlighted as well.



Laptop Function Keys

PAGE DOWN is normally used to scroll a document one page down. If PAGE DOWN is used with the SHIFT key pressed in a document for example the page moves down and the text is automatically highlighted as well.



Laptop Function Keys

SCROLL LOCK is an almost obsolete key just like BREAK and NUM LOCK below. These keys were made for older (IBM) keyboards years ago. Nowadays keyboards are more sophisticated where they do not need or rely on NUM LOCK, BREAK or SCROLL LOCK. Some programs may still use them, but very few. Microsoft Excel uses SCROLL LOCK to lock a selection (i.e. It stops the selected cell range from moving when you scroll the page).


Laptop Function Keys

NUM (NUMERICAL) LOCK locks (puts) the keyboard in Numerical Mode, which means it activate the right-side, numerical side, of the keyboard. You press NUM LOCK once to switch on numerical mode and once again to switch off numerical mode. Pressing the number 8 in normal mode make the text cursor move up one line for example whereas pressing the number 8 in numerical mode displays the number 8.


Laptop Function Keys

BREAK (PAUSE/BREAK) was a key used years ago to break communication of a Modem Signal/Connection for example, but these days it is rarely used. And if it is used, it is used as a modifier key or a programmable (user defined function) key.



LAPTOP  FUNCTION  KEYS

Laptop Function Keys

The FN (Function) key is only found on a laptop keyboard. It is a Modifier, which means it is a key that modifies the function of another key when it is pressed with that other key. For example. If you press the number 8 key on its own the number 8 is displayed but if you press the FN key, and keep it pressed (held down), and then press the number 8 key the text cursor in a document will move up one line.


Laptop Function Keys

WIRELESS OFF/ON. Press the FN (Function) key, and keep it pressed (held down), while you then press the F1 Key. This will switch the laptop's Wireless functionality OFF or ON. If it is Off now, F1 will switch it ON. And if it is On now, F1 will switch it OFF. This is known as a Toggle (Off/On or Switch Between Modes) key.

Note: If you have this key on your laptop it could look slightly different and be allocated a different F key.


Laptop Function Keys

MUTE (Volume Zero). Press the FN (Function) key, and keep it pressed (held down), while you then press the F3 Key. This will put the Volume at 0 (zero/mute/pause) level.

Note: If you have this key on your laptop it could look slightly different and be allocated a different F key.


Laptop Function Keys

VOLUME DOWN (Volume Decrease/Quieter). Press the FN (Function) key, and keep it pressed (held down), while you then press the F5 Key. This will lower/decrease/quieten the Volume level.

Note: If you have this key on your laptop it could look slightly different and be allocated a different F key.


Laptop Function Keys

VOLUME UP (Volume Increase/Louder). Press the FN (Function) key, and keep it pressed (held down), while you then press the F4 Key. This will raise/increase/louder the Volume level.

Note: If you have this key on your laptop it could look slightly different and be allocated a different F key.


Laptop Function Keys

TOUCHPAD (TouchPad Off/On). Press the FN (Function) key, and keep it pressed (held down), while you then press the F6 Key. This will switch the laptop's TouchPad (Mouse Pad) OFF or ON. If it is Off now, F6 will switch it ON. And if it is On now, F6 will switch it OFF. This is known as a Toggle (Off/On or Switch Between Modes) key.

Note: If you have this key on your laptop it could look slightly different and be allocated a different F key.


Laptop Function Keys

BRIGHTNESS DOWN (Brightness Decrease/Duller). Press the FN (Function) key, and keep it pressed (held down), while you then press the F8 Key. This will lower/decrease/dim the Brightness level.

Note: If you have this key on your laptop it could look slightly different and be allocated a different F key.


Laptop Function Keys

BRIGHTNESS UP (Brightness Increase/Brighter). Press the FN (Function) key, and keep it pressed (held down), while you then press the F9 Key. This will raise/increase/brighten the Brightness level.

Note: If you have this key on your laptop it could look slightly different and be allocated a different F key.


Laptop Function Keys

MONITOR (Monitor Mode). Press the FN (Function) key, and keep it pressed (held down), while you then press the F10 Key. This will allow you to choose which monitor (display screen) to use if an external monitor is connected to the laptop. If an external monitor is not connected then nothing will happen when you press FN + F10. F10 is a toggle (switch between) key that allows you to switch between monitors.

Note: If you have this key on your laptop it could look slightly different and be allocated a different F key.


Laptop Function Keys

FAN (Silent Mode). Press the FN (Function) key, and keep it pressed (held down), while you then press the F11 Key. This will put the laptop in Silent Mode - The laptop's Fan, CPU and so on will be set to a lower rate/speed, which is good if you do not always want high performance from your laptop. Especially if your main reasons for using it are to Type and Print only for example.

Note: If you have this key on your laptop it could look slightly different and be allocated a different F key.


Laptop Function Keys

SLEEP (Sleep Mode). Press the FN (Function) key, and keep it pressed (held down), while you then press the F12 Key. This will put the laptop to sleep (in Sleep Mode), the same as when you use the Sleep button on the START Menu.

Note: If you have this key on your laptop it could look slightly different and be allocated a different F key.


KEYBOARD  SHORTCUTS

A Keyboard Shortcut, as the name suggests, is a quick way (shortcut way) to doing something. For example. On the desktop you can have an Icon Shortcut that when double clicked on takes you straight to a program. Or put another way, it takes a shortcut to where the program is stored and then launches that program. This is so you do not have to search for, or cycle through to, the actual folder where the program is stored - The shortcut does that for you. It writes the location of the actual folder into the icon. Therefore, when you double click on the icon it jumps straight to the actual folder and then launches the program associated with the icon - The program name is also written into the icon, at the end of the folder location.

Keyboard Shortcut Keys

Fig 1.0 - This icon shortcut has a Target of C:\Program Files\Avanquest\Web Easy Professional 7\ with program name: WebEasy.exe

Fig 1.0 above shows a shortcut with a Target/Path Name (Actual Folder) of 'C:\Program Files (x86)\Ashampoo\Ashampoo Burning Studio FREE' which means the program called burningstudio.exe is stored in one root/main folder (C:) and three sub-folders (Program Files (x86), Ashampoo and Ashampoo Burning Studio FREE). Instead of having to double click on the four folders in order to then double click on (launch) the burningstudio.exe program (executable file), you only need to double click on the icon shortcut to do the same thing.



Fig 1.1  Click on the FILE menu to see the file menu's Keyboard Shortcuts

A Keyboard Shortcut works in roughly the same way as an Icon Shortcut except that it normally shortcuts to a program function rather than to an actual program or folder. For example. If you click on one of your program's menu, the FILE menu for example, you will see what Keyboard Shortcuts have been made available for certain file tasks. In Fig 1.1 above you can see the program called Notepad uses the CTRL key together with the O key to open a file. This means if you press the CTRL key, and while it is pressed (held down), you then press the O key a file requester will appear asking you to locate the file you want opening. You could do the same thing by clicking on the FILE menu and then selecting the OPEN menu-item but you may find it quicker to just press CTRL + O.

Keyboard Shortcuts that are in many commercial programs tend to be uniform. Meaning, if CTRL + O for example makes an OPEN file requester appear in Notepad CTRL + O should also perform the same function in a commercial program such as Microsoft Word, which it does. Non-Commercial programmers/companies may tend to use buttons as opposed to menus and therefore might not use keyboard shortcuts at all. Another form of keyboard shortcut is the use of Laptop Function Keys (above).