Function Keys

How to use function keys And their shortcuts

Using of function keys in computer is a handy and faster way of doing certain tasks by using the command keys of the computer keyboard instead of a mouse. The use of F1-F12 keyboard shortcuts provides the same output in all versions of Excel making it easier to recall. Uses of keyboard function keys in computer make your daily life much easier. So, below is a detail of the use of function keys F1 to F12 in computer in excel in an easy to digest manner.

F1 Key

It is used for opening the Excel “Help”. Its output is the same as obtained by clicking on “question mark button” available on the top right-hand side of your excel sheets

  • Alt+F1-If you use “Alt and F1” Keys together then it will insert a new chart in your excel and will open the chart options.
  • Ctrl + F1 – You can minimize or maximize the ribbon of excel by pressing “Ctrl & F1” Keys together. By minimizing the ribbon, only tab names will be displayed.
  • Alt + Shift + F1 – A new worksheet is added to the workbook by holding Alt + Shift + F1 keys together.
  • Alt+ Ctrl + F1 -This set of keys when pressed together does not give any output either like “Shift + F1” and “Ctrl + Shift + F1” keys.

F2 Key

Using “F2” Key, you edit the contents of a cell in excel. If you select a cell that is filled with some value and then presses “F2” Key, then it will allow you to insert at the end of the current content in the cell. However, if you press “F2” for an empty cell then it simply allows you to type in the empty cell.

  • Alt+F2: By holding “Alt + F2” keys together with the “Save As” dialog box opens for saving the excel workbook.
  • Ctrl + F2: To open Print options you can just hold “Ctrl + F2” keys together. It opens the same printing options which could also be opened by clicking on the “File menu” and then selecting “Print Option”.
  • Shift + F2: Insert comments in a cell by just holding “Shift and F2” Keys together. You can also edit the existing comments in the selected cell using “Shift + F2” keys.
  • Alt + Shift +F2: This set of keys “Alt + Shift + F2” when pressed together save the workbook. It is the same as “Ctrl + S” keys.
  • Alt + Ctrl + F2: This set of keys “Alt + Ctrl + F2” when pressed together opens the “File Open Dialog Box”. It is the same as the “Ctrl + O” function.
  • Alt + Ctrl + Shift + F2:“Alt + Ctrl + Shift + F2” keys open the print option in excel, same as “Ctrl + F2” keys.

F3 Key

“F3” key helps you to paste the name or paste list into the selected cell. This function key will not work until and unless the list that you have created is having a “named range”.

  • Ctrl + F3: If you hold “Ctrl + F3” keys together then the “Name Manager” dialog box is opened.
  • Shift + F3: “Shift + F3” keys when pressed together open a window using which you can insert any function of your choice in the selected cell.
  • Ctrl + Shift + F3:“Ctrl + Shift + F3” keys are used to “create names” from the row or column labels .Although you can create the names for the selected cell from the values of the top row, bottom row, left column or right column as per your preference.
  • Alt + Ctrl + F3:“Alt + Ctrl + F3” keys are used to provide name the selected range or cell.

F4 Key

“F4” key provides you two different outputs depending on what you are doing currently in your excel. If you are editing, then it will cycle you through all three types of references, like – absolute reference, relative reference, and mixed reference.

  • Alt + F4: I believe you all would be aware of what magic “Alt + F4” keys do. For those who don’t know, by pressing “Alt + F4” excel would be closed. It will prompt you for a confirmation to save changes if there are any.
  • Ctrl + F4: Using “Ctrl & F4” keys you can close the current open excel workbook window. It does the same operation as done by the “Close Window” button available on the Excel workbook.
  • Shift + F4: “Shift + F4” keys select the empty cell available next in the right direction to the current selection. It toggles in the same row until it finds the data, after which it goes to the next row available.
  • Alt + Shift + F4: “Alt + Shift + F4” keys provide the same output as “Alt + F4” Keys, that is it will quit excel thereby closing all open excel workbooks.
  • Ctrl + Shift + F4:“Ctrl + Shift + F4” keys select the empty cell available next in the left direction to the current selection. It toggles in the same row until it finds the data, after which it goes to the next row available. Note that the difference between “Ctrl + Shift + F4” keys and “Shift + F4” keys is the direction in which movement is done. The cells are toggled in left direction using “Ctrl + Shift + F4” keys and in the right direction using “Shift + F4” keys.
  • Alt + Ctrl + F4: “Alt + Ctrl + F4” keys provide the same output as “Alt + F4” Keys, that is it will quit excel thereby closing all open excel workbooks.
  • Alt + Ctrl + Shift + F4:“Alt + Ctrl + Shift + F4” keys closes all open excels like “Alt + F4” Keys.

F5 Key

“F5” key displays the “Go-To” dialog box. “Go-To” box will list down the valid “named range” available in the opened excel workbook. Along with this, you can enter the reference of the cell where you want to go in the “Reference” text box. Using the “Special” button you can go to the various options – comments, constants, formula, etc.

  • Ctrl + F5: “Ctrl + F5” keys when hit together restore window size from a maximum of the current open excel workbook. Although, using it again after restore does not maximize the window.
  • Shift + F5: “Shift + F5” keys when hold together opens the “Find and Replace” window.

F6 Key

“F6” key is used to switch between the panes of an excel workbook if you have a split window in the current sheet of your excel workbook. If your sheet is not split then the “F6” key will shift between the help task pane and application window.

  • Ctrl + F6: Using “Ctrl + F6” keys you can switch to the previous excel workbook if you have multiple workbooks open.
  • Shift + F6: “Shift + F6” keys work the same as the “F6” key.
  • Ctrl + Shift + F6:“Ctrl + Shift + F6” keys works same as “Ctrl + F6” key.

F7 Key

“F7” key opens the “Spelling” option in excel using which you can check the spellings in your workbook. It provides the same output as you get by navigating to the “Review” Tab on the top of the excel ribbon and then clicking on the “Spelling” button.

  • Ctrl + F7: “Ctrl + F7” keys move the excel window of the current workbook which is open. However, it works only if your workbook is in a restored window.
  • Shift + F7: “Shift + F7” opens the “Research” task pane in your excel workbook. It provides the same output as you get by navigating to “Review” Tab on the top of the excel ribbon and then clicking on the “Research” button

F8 Key

“F8” key enables and disables the “Extend Mode” selection in excel. By enabling “extend mode” you can select multiple cells at a time. Likewise by disabling “Extend Mode” the cell selection would be set to one cell at a time.

  • Alt + F8: “Alt + F8” keys open the “Macros” dialog box
  • Ctrl + F8: “Ctrl + F8” keys move the excel window of the current workbook which is open. However, it works only if your workbook is in a restored window. It provides the same output as “Ctrl + F7” keys
  • Shift + F8: “Shift + F8” keys provide you an option to select the cell or multiple cells or a range of cells using arrow keys.

F9 Key

“F9 key” recalculates the output of all formulas in your excel workbook. The Use of F9 key in computer will update all the formulas present in the various sheets of the open excel workbook. If you are editing a cell having a formula and press F9 key then it will replace the cell having formula with the value of that formula.

  • Ctrl + F9: Using “Ctrl + F9” keys your excel window will be minimized. Although pressing it again would not maximize the screen again.
  • Shift + F9: The function of “Shift + F9” keys is the same as the “F9” key. It recalculates all the formulas in your excel workbook.
  • Alt + Ctrl + F9: The function of “Alt + Ctrl+ F9” keys is same as “F9” key or “Shift + F9” keys. It recalculates all the formulas in your excel workbook.
  • Alt + Ctrl + Shift + F9: All the dependent formulas are rechecked and recalculated in all the open workbooks. It also works for the cell which is not marked for recalculation.

F10 Key

Using the “F10” key you get the Excel Tips – the keyboard shortcuts for excel ribbon. Its output is the same as obtained by pressing the “Alt” key.

  • Alt + F10: “Alt + F10” keys display the selection window in excel.
  • Ctrl + F10: “Ctrl + F10” keys resize or restore the excel window if it is open in the maximum window first. Similarly, it maximizes the excel window if it is open in the restored window initially.
  • Shift + F10: “Shift + F10” keys display the excel shortcut window also known as “Context Menu” for the selected cell. Its output is the same as you obtain by right-clicking the mouse on the selected cell
  • Alt + Shift + F10: “Alt + Shift + F10” keys displays the menu for the “Smart Tag” if only a single “Smart Tag” is present in your workbook. In the case of multiple “Smart Tags”, it simply toggles to the next smart tag and displays its menu.
  • Ctrl + Shift + F10:“Ctrl + Shift + F10” keys works same as “Shift + F10” keys

F11 Key

“F11” key adds a chart to your excel. If you hit F11 after selecting a specific date range then it uses the same range in chart.

  • Alt + F11: “Alt + F11” keys open the Microsoft Visual Basic Editor. If VB Editor is already open then by pressing this key you can toggle between the Excel workbook and editor.
  • Ctrl + F11: “Ctrl + F11” keys add a macro sheet in your currently open excel workbook with a default name like “Macro1, Macro2, etc”. These “Macro Sheets” were actually used to store macros in the excel versions prior to Excel 97. They are not being used anymore.
  • Shift + F11: “Shift + F11” keys insert a “New Sheet” in your currently open excel workbook. The new sheet is added on the left-hand side of the sheet where you are currently working
  • Alt + Shift + F11: “Alt + Shift + F11” displays the Microsoft Script editor for your current open excel workbook. Microsoft Editor was an additional tool provided by Microsoft in version from MS Office 2000 to 2007. It allows you to work in a large variety of codes in office products ranging from HTML code, D HTML objects, JavaScript and VB Script.

F12 Key

“F12” key opens the “Save As” dialog box to save your current open excel workbook. You can also use “Alt + F2” for the same output.

  • Ctrl +F12: This set of keys “Ctrl + F12” when pressed together opens the “File Open Dialog Box”. It is the same as the “Ctrl + O” function and opens the below the window.
  • Shift+F12: This set of keys “Shift + F12” when pressed together saves the workbook. It is the same as “Ctrl + S” keys.
  • Alt +Shift + F12:“Alt + Shift + F12” keys don’t provide any output.
  • Ctrl +Shift + F12:“Ctrl + Shift + F12” keys open the print options. “Ctrl+F2” keys and “Alt + Ctrl + Shift + F2” keys also do the same function.

So, these are the ways in which you can use all the function keys in the computer.

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