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.
From the table of contents environment, readers can move into and out of the "read article environment." In this environment, readers can scroll through an article and find the next, or the most recent, citation in the article by pressing a function key.
Pressing the F9 function key brings up a list of regional areas, corresponding to the four regional discs.
Specifically, the SpacePilot PRO features a new color LCD workflow assistant, second-generation QuickView navigation technology, intelligent function keys, and an improved design for enhanced comfort and control.
PS stresses that none of the Smart Function Key settings we described above will affect the basic operation of the audio panel but are limited to how the entertainment is directed within the cabin.
Another reader recommended using the F4 function key to toggle between making a cell reference relative and absolute.
Also, the user interface needs to be enhanced, at least by listing function key commands on the screen.
Few onscreen prompts are given, but function key commands are displayed by requesting help (FI).
The so-called index function key (F5), designed to move the user to various forms, works only on a major screen form.
The most common means of function access include: menu choice, function key selection, and command line input.
* Special function keys. By pressing a designated function key, the user dan see special information relating to a specified place in the software.