Typing on a keyboard has become second nature to many of us, with some masters able to do it with their eyes closed.
But, if someone asks you what the Scroll Lock function is or what the Menu button does, could you answer?
Although the letter, number and punctuation keys are familiar to most QWERTY keyboard users, several buttons go unnoticed.
Many of them are often useless when performing day-to-day tasks, but sometimes they can be hidden gems for sneaky shortcuts.
MailOnline has compiled a list of the most mysterious QWERTY keyboard buttons and if they can do anything for you.
Letter, number and punctuation keys may be familiar to most keyboard users
The most useless keys
Located near the upper right side of your keyboard, the Scroll Lock feature is often overlooked.
And when you tap on it, chances are you won’t see any visible effect on your screen.
Can this be useful?
Just sometimes – the button can be used to change the behavior of certain program functions, such as scrolling capabilities.
Generally, when using Excel, the arrow keys can be moved to scroll up or down one cell at a time when scroll lock is disabled.
But when enabled, the arrow keys can be used to scroll the worksheet area faster – moving up/down one row or left/right one column at a time.
With its niche purpose, the Scroll Lock key may not prove useful unless Excel is used regularly.
Scroll Lock is next to Pause [Break] which is also rarely used, according to Microsoft
Break [Break] key
Sitting in the top row of the keyboard, this button is also almost never used, according to Microsoft.
Like Scroll Lock, it will generally have no effect when pressed while browsing the Internet or typing in Word.
Can this be useful?
Very rarely, the break [Break] can – unsurprisingly – pause a running program.
With Ctrl it can also completely stop the execution of programs, be it games or certain commands.
Even still, Microsoft says it’s mostly used on older programs, with more up-to-date software neglecting it.
How often do you notice the Tilde button stuck next to ‘1’ and below the Esc button?
The curvy key at the top left of the keyboard usually types a ‘`’ symbol or a ‘¬’ when you hold down the Shift key.
The two symbols are most commonly used by mathematicians, with ‘¬’ used to represent logical negation in Boolean algebra.
On the other hand, the backtick symbol (`) is usually used by computer programmers as a typographic mark.
Can this be useful?
Unless you work in these professions, this key is unlikely to be useful to you.
Tilde key: this wavy-looking symbol that types a ‘`’ symbol or a ‘¬’ when you hold down the Shift key
Often represented by Ins, the Ins key is likely to have no visible effect when typed while browsing online.
Yet, perhaps unknowingly, users switch between different text settings that can be applied while typing.
By default, typed text usually appears in front of pre-existing text when writing something in a Word document.
But when you press Insert, this input style can change, allowing users to delete and overwrite pre-existing text.
Can this be useful?
The Insert key may save computer users from hitting the Delete button, but it’s arguably not vital to saving time.
Insert: can also be displayed as an Ins symbol and usually may not do much when pressed
The sneaky keys you don’t use
This key is found next to Ctrl near the lower right side of a keyboard.
Like no other button on the qwerty, the symbol for this key is usually a mini-page or a few lines that appear to be text.
When pushed, it has the same effect as a right-click, opening a context menu for the application in use.
Although this key is often overlooked, it can be useful for those who find clicking on a laptop mouse pad a bit tricky.
With this tool, computer users can completely dodge the pad, as the arrow keys can also be used to scroll through each menu option.
The Enter button can then be pressed to select a chosen option, without your hands once leaving the keyboard.
Some users may already know about these hidden gems, but if not, here’s a quick look at what the function keys can do.
Lined up at the top of a keyboard, these F keys range from 1 to 12 and can provide quick everyday shortcuts.
The Menu button is next to Ctrl near the lower right side of a keyboard
The Menu symbol is often just a few lines or an image that looks like a page
Need a hand? Pressing the F1 key can open a help system window when searching the web.
Here, Google can provide guidance on many topics, including deleting your internet history, creating a personal profile, or managing an account.
As the name suggests, F2 can quickly rename documents when browsing files and folders.
Simply visit the This PC menu, click on a folder, and press F2 to rename it.
Function keys range from 1 to 12 and are found at the very top of a qwerty keyboard
At one time or another, chances are you’ve wanted to find a specific keyword term among endless pages in Microsoft Word.
Pressing F3 can open a search bar to accomplish this – providing the same effect as holding the Ctrl button and the letter F together.
F3: this key can be pressed to open a search bar if you are looking for certain keywords
Any window you have open – whether it’s an Internet browser or a Microsoft program – can be closed without using a mouse.
All you have to do is press F4 and the Alt key simultaneously and the window should close immediately.
FIVE KEYS OFTEN NEGLECTED
- Scroll Lock
- Break [Break]
Need to quickly refresh a webpage? Just press F5 and it can happen in seconds.
The tool can be useful when a site appears to have crashed.
F6 and F10: Cursor movement and selection tool
Not surprisingly, F6 can be used to move a cursor between different topics in a window.
When first tapped, the cursor may select the search bar at the top of an internet browser.
Tap it again and you’ll see the cursor move to something else, whether it’s a tab or an option in the bookmarks bar.
On Microsoft Word, F6 can also be used in conjunction with Ctrl and Shift to switch between documents.
Similarly, F10 can highlight a number of options in a Microsoft document when typed.
These options will be labeled with letters of the alphabet, which can then be pressed on a keyboard to select the associated option.
F7, F8 and F9: volume
These three keys can change the volume when watching something in Windows Media Player.
Although sound levels can be reduced by pressing F8, they can also be completely muted by pressing F7.
Instead, pressing F9 can increase the volume one step while using the software.
Despite this, some of these buttons have other unique functions that can be useful.
Pressing Alt and F7 at the same time can be used to check spelling and grammar when using Microsoft Word.
F7 can also be typed to open a thesaurus in Word as well when pressed in conjunction with Shift.
Just like F5, the F9 key can also be used to refresh a page, but it is mainly used for Microsoft Word.
F11: full screen mode
Computer users can enter and exit full screen mode in Google and other browsers by pressing F11.
This is a simple tool that could come in handy when looking to enlarge the size of a clip being viewed on a web page.
F12: Save As
When using Microsoft, this tool can be used to open a Save As box, allowing users to store the latest version of a file being created.
The End key is located next to the Delete button and is often useful when typing a document
Another handy tool you might be missing is the End key.
Found next to the Delete function, this tool is mainly used when entering text into a document.
Press the button and the cursor will instantly move to the end of a line of text.
This produces the same effect as pressing the right arrow, but can do it much faster.
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