For Seniors: Use a Laptop's Function Keys

On a laptop computer, you might find that in order to save space, some shortcut functions, such as muting sound or brightening your screen, are accessible by using function keys. Here are the basics of function keys:

  • Function keys run across the top of your laptop keyboard, labeled F1, F2, and so on.

  • You'll find a key labeled Fn (for Function) near the bottom of your keyboard.

  • By pressing and holding down the Function key (Fn) and a numbered function key (F1, for example), you can perform actions such as controlling your built-in speaker’s volume.

  • The functions assigned to your laptop’s keys vary depending on the model and manufacturer. Check your user’s manual to find out the specific functions assigned to your keyboard.

You'll typically find small icons on your function keys that give you a clue about what the keys do. For example, pressing both the function key that has a little light bulb icon and the up arrow key will probably brighten your screen. Pressing a function key with double, right-pointing arrows (like those you see on a music player) may move you to the next track on an audio DVD.

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