function key


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function key

[′fəŋk·shən ‚kē]
(computer science)
A special key on a keyboard to control a mechanical function, initiate a specific computer operation, or transmit a signal that would otherwise require multiple key strokes.

function key

(hardware)
(From the IBM 3270 terminal's Programmed Function Keys (PF keys)) One of a set of special keys on a computer or terminal keyboard which can be programmed so as to cause an application program to perform certain actions.

Function keys on a terminal may either generate short fixed sequences of characters, often beginning with the escape character (ASCII 27), or the characters they generate may be configured by sending special character sequences to the terminal.

On a microcomputer keyboard, the function keys may generate a fixed, single byte code, outside the normal ASCII range, which is translated into some other configurable sequence by the keyboard device driver or interpreted directly by the application program.

function key

A set of keyboard keys that are used to command the computer. Typically 12 keys labeled F1, F2, etc., their purpose is dependent on which operating system and application are running at the time they are pressed. Each key can be made to perform up to seven separate operations: the key pressed alone or with one or more of the Shift, Control and Alt keys held down at the same time. On the Mac, the Command and Option keys are the Control and Alt key counterparts.


Across the Top
Function keys (F keys) are typically located in a horizontal row across the top above the numeric keys. They may also be only on the left side or repeated on the left side of the keyboard.







Special Function Keys
Many keyboards have additional keys for launching applications, playing media and opening folders (see special function key).







A Different Function Key
Although "Fn" stands for "function," the Fn key is entirely different from F1, F2, etc. Holding down Fn activates a dual-purpose key (see Fn key).
References in periodicals archive ?
As you work along in Word, you'll notice from time to time the assortment of function keys will change depending on what you're doing.
A 2 x 2 x 4 x 2 x 2 between- and within-subjects design comparing two levels of function key layout, two levels of function key labeling, four levels of menu representation, and two levels of menu hierarchy was conducted in two sessions.
Pressing a function key will move the cursor to the next spot in the article at which a pop-up of any kind is available.
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Use of function keys and commands is unique to the product, making learning difficult.
Created to dramatically boost productivity, the new device couples next-generation 3D motion control with an array of function keys powered by breakthrough adaptive technology.
7, the latest version of the 7 series software offering active and professional traders new enhancements, including a News Manager, a powerful Symbol Lookup feature, customizable function keys, an enhanced Leader's Window and select Latin America exchange data.
The firm has confirmed it's killing off its MacBook Air range in favour of a lower cost version of the new MacBook with traditional function keys.
Replacing the function keys in the top row of the keyboard, the Touch Bar creates a space where you can customize any shortcut key or function within any application in a new and visual way.
It features high-contrast, 15-inch touch displays, four LED special function keys for ON/OFF, brightness, contrast and calling up the terminal operating states, as well as 20 freely programmable function keys.
Now in its second generation, this mobile device runs Vista and comes with an integrated split-QWERTY keypad, mouse, touch screen and stylus, user-defined function keys, and a high resolution 1.
The chassis has been equipped with five function keys to the left of the LCD.