Function Keys On Mac: What Is The Purpose Of Keys?

Function Keys On Mac

The Function Keys On Mac is the key that is present on the top of the Keyboard. These keys are used to perform shortcuts of some basic action. In this case, if you are also sat in front of your Mac now. Then you have to take a look down at your keyboard. You have to make sure that it has all of the characters. So, that you would also expect from a keyboard. Then there are some of the keys that are along the top of the keyboard that might not be familiar to you.

Now, these are also called the function keys and all have Fn has written on them, where n is replaced with a number. Those numbers include F1, F2, F3, F4, F5, F6, F7, F8, F9, F10, F11, F12. Then what do the F keys do on a Mac?

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F keys on a Mac keyboard:

Then glancing at the F keys on a Mac keyboard, you’ll also see an icon. In this case, if you look above the function key number. So, that icon also shows what else the key can do. This is with 12 keys to choose from, they can do quite a bit. Moreover, standard function keys can be used within different apps in different ways. You have to be sure to check the keyboard shortcut options. This is for your favorite apps to see if there are any that you should be making use of.

So, in the below option there is a list of the functions available for all of the Mac function keys. Now, they should also take all be present and correct if you are also using an Apple keyboard on almost any modern Mac. This also except for any Mac with a Touch Bar anyway which uses a little screen instead of the F keys. So, some much older Macs may have different functions assigned to the F keys too. You can also assume that you are on modern hardware.

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What is the function key?

On every keyboard that comes with a set of function keys (F1 through F12) but do you know the functionalities of those function keys (or fn keys)? Most of the time, in a multimedia keyboard or compact keyboard. Also, these function keys come as secondary functions on the other keys. This is just like brightness, sleep, play media, player, mute. In such keyboard.

You can also use the function keys, which you may need to press another special key ‘fn’ (besides Windows key), and then any of the function keys. In this case, these function keys can be used with the combination of other keys. Just like ctrl or alt or shift.
So, Each function key is built to perform a specific task. In this case, it may vary based upon the operating system. So, this kind of program that you are also using right now. Now, Let’s see a few common functionalities. Then you can also perform this by using these function keys. Here are a few of such functionalities that you may have used, few not.

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Explain the Function Keys On Mac Keyboards?

So, these are the primary defaults of what function keys do on an Apple keyboard. In case, if they are connected to a Mac:

  • F1 – To Decrease display brightness
  • F2 – To Increase display brightness
  • F3 – An Open Mission Control
  • F4 – To Open Launchpad
  • F5 – To Decrease keyboard brightness (On compatible notebooks only)
  • F6 – Then Increase keyboard brightness (On compatible notebooks only)
  • F7 – To Skip back (Audio)
  • F8 –  This Pause / Play (Audio)
  • F9 – Also, Skip forward (Audio)
  • F10 – To Mute
  • F11 – The Volume down
  • F12 – The Volume Up

Detail working of Function Keys On Mac:


  – The F1 key has almost every program. This also uses the key to open and it also Helps and Supports the window.

– Also, the F1 key with the windows key shows up Windows Help and Support screen.

– This can be used to enter the CMOS setup.


   – The F2 key is mostly used by everyone to rename files or folders or icons. This can quickly rename the files.
   – Now, it can be used to enter the CMOS setup.
   – The Alt + Ctrl + F2 opens the document window in Microsoft Office.
   – Also, Ctrl  + F2 displays a print preview window in Microsoft Office.
   – The Alt + F2 opens the ‘Save As’ window in Microsoft Excel.
   – So, Shift + F2 can be used to add a comment box in Microsoft Excel.


   – You have to press F3 to open the search window to find files and folders.
   – This is by using the MSDOS or windows command prompt. Now, F3 also repeats the last command.
   – Now, on most browsers, F3 is also used to open the find bar.
   – By using Microsoft Word, Shift + F3 changes the text from upper case to lower case or all capital letters.


– Several common, Alt + F4 to close the current program window. In case, if there is no program window is open. Then it launches the Shutdown dialog box.
– The Ctrl  + F4 also closes the active window within the current active window in Microsoft Windows.
– You can also Open the address bar in Windows Explorer and the Internet Explorer.
– Now, press the F4 to repeat the last action performed in Microsoft Word.


   –  Then this also has all modern internet browsers. You have to press the F5 refreshes or reloads the web page.
   – Now, start the slide show in the PowerPoint window.
   – In this case, you have to open the Find and Replace window in Microsoft Word. You have to go to the window in Excel.


   – Around all modern browsers, You can press the F6 key to move the cursor to the address bar.
   – Also, you can press Ctrl + F6 that toggles between various Microsoft Word documents.


   – You can press F7 to launch the Spelling and Grammar dialog box in the Microsoft Office program.
   – Then Shift + F7 also opens the Research window in Microsoft Office.
   – Having a few browsers that are just like Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, pressing F7 turns Caret Browsing on or off.


   – Then hold down the F8 during the Windows boot process. You can also enter this into Windows Safe Mode.
   – By Pressing the F8 that displays a thumbnail image of all workspaces in Mac OS X.


   – So, most of the applications that are also useful and then send an email like Microsoft Outlook, Siebel CRM.
   – Also, Ctrl + F9 and Alt + F9 are used to build mail merge documents in Microsoft Word.
   – In case, if you are a programmer then you may have used F9 to compile and execute code. This is in the combination with Ctrl or Alt key.


   – Most of the programs, Shift + F10 also opens up the menu window. Then this is equivalent to the right-click.
   – After that, this shows the menu bar in Mozilla Firefox, internet browser, or highlights the same in many programs.
   – Most of the time it can use to enter the CMOS setup.


   – This also use to enter and then exit from full-screen mode. Now, in all of the modern internet browsers.
   – By using Microsoft Excel, Shift + F11 also adds a new sheet. Then Ctrl + F11 adds a new macro to the workbook.
   – You can also Press the Alt + F11 in the MS Office program. This also invokes Microsoft Visual Basic window for that document.


– First of all, you have to open the ‘Save As’ window in MS Office program.
– The Shift + Ctrl + F12 opens the Print window in MS Office.
– Now, Ctrl + F12 also opens a document in MS Office.
– You have to open and then close the developer tools in most the internet browsers

You have to press a function key so that this will invoke its secondary function by default. Also, you can use these Fx keys as standard function keys. Then press and hold the Fn button and then press the required function key.

In case, if you are also using a non-Apple keyboard. So, this does not have an Fn key, try pressing and holding the Control key instead.

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How To Change The Keys Behavior?

On Mac, you can also change the default behavior of the function keys too. Also, this can basically invert their function away from defaulting to things. This is just like brightness and also the audio controls to standard F keys.

  • First of all, you have to open the System Preferences that are from the Apple menu.
  • Then click on the “Keyboard” from the system preferences.
  • You can also select the “Use F1, F2, etc. keys as standard function keys” to make the change.

Function Keys On Mac

In this case, if you make this change. Then you will need to press down the “FN” key on the keyboard. You can also press the F1, F2, F3, etc keys to act. So, that it is on the keys icon (for example, changing brightness, or muting system volume). Most of the users on older Macs are particular and prefer this.

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Keys On MacBook:

Furthermore, if you are using a MacBook Pro with a Touch Bar. Then press and hold the Fn key to see the F1 through F12 keys. You have to tap the screen to use them.

In this case, if the Mac has a Touch Bar. Then you would also like to always see the function keys. So, you can actually disable the Touch Bar on MacBook Pro. Then the Touch Bar also remains the same all of the time. Now, you can also set it to either show an F key row or the actions row, whatever you prefer.

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In case, if you are new to the Mac then you may not know about some of the other cool tricks. And you can also do with the Fn key, like move “Home” and “End.”  Also, if your keyboard is not working correctly then you can also enable a software-based virtual keyboard. This often cleaning the Mac keyboard and can improve the key press issues.

So, this is obviously that is aimed at Mac keyboards either from Apple or third parties. In this case, if you are using a third party PC keyboard and you have a different set of F keys (or even none at all). Now, you can also consult your keyboard’s manufacturer for more information about the function row.

Now, there are a ton of other keyboard shortcuts, like navigating text. Then amongst many others that are well worth learning. In case, if you spend a lot of time typing on a Mac as well. Now, they will completely change your game once you master it. So, the ones that you use most. So, this is all about Function Keys On Mac.

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In this case, if you are also sat in front of your Mac now. Then you have to take a look down at your keyboard. You have to make sure that it has all of the characters. So, that you would also expect from a keyboard. Then there are some of the keys that are along the top of the keyboard that might not be familiar to you. Now, these are also called the function keys and all have Fn has written on them, where n is replaced with a number. Those numbers include F1, F2, F3, F4, F5, F6, F7, F8, F9, F10, F11, F12.

Did you use the function keys often? Do you ever change the behavior of any of the F keys for any other purpose? So, let us know your experiences and thoughts in the comments below.

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