What does that button do? “fn”

On 15/11/2011, in Questions, by Norman Dean

I get this question periodically, “what the heck does that key do?”

Today I am going to explain the fn key. Short for Function, it usually is seen on laptops and small desktop keyboards. When there is not enough room for all the F keys or Function Keys (F1-F12) they are paired with other keys like the Number keys or laptop shortcut keys like External Monitor Output or Sound Volume, and Screen Brightness. The alternate key is usually the same color as the fn key, blue or grey, or like my laptop white with a box around the shortcut symbols.

To activate the alternate key just depress the fn key along with the alternate key you wish to use.

Kari asks: “My daughter tuned on Num Lock on my Toshiba laptop, now my UIOJKLM keys are typing numbers. How do I turn that off?”

Turning on Number Lock feature on a laptop basically turns UIOJKLM into a 10key, very unsettling  if you have never seen it before.  Just depress the fn key (lower left) and the num lk key (top right) that should turn off the Number Lock.




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