Laptop keyboard: key assignment. Hotkeys

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Laptop keyboard: key assignment. Hotkeys
Laptop keyboard: key assignment. Hotkeys

Traditional keyboard - laptop, or "desktop", despite the dominance and prevalence of "sensors" on smartphones and tablets - when using which people, at times, begin to forget what keys are - an object that uses ubiquitous demand. A stylish and ergonomic keyboard is a welcome piece of computer interior for any IT enthusiast.

Laptop keyboard key assignment
Laptop keyboard key assignment

Ease of use of the corresponding hardware component of the PC, and not just its appearance, is also an important criterion for the comfort of the computer owner. The keyboard is, historically, the first PC control element, the mouse was invented later. And therefore, the keys of the device - especially in combination with others - by default, are a very effective and functional tool in the hands of the user. There is a version that the technological features of "desktops" and laptops predetermine some difference between the capabilities of keyboards, with the help of which the corresponding types are controlled.devices.

Does the type of computer keyboard matter in terms of the functionality of the keys? Is there a difference between the standardization policies in this aspect, carried out by different laptop brands? What keyboard shortcuts can we identify as the most useful?

Laptop and desktop keys: comparison

As a rule, there is no fundamental difference between how the keyboard of a laptop and a "desktop" is structured. This is understandable - computer manufacturers are trying to release appropriate controls, adhering to standards so that people are more willing to buy equipment without fear that they will have to adapt their skills to a new layout of keys. It is worth noting, however, that this thesis is valid if a computer in the most popular architecture today, the IBM PC, is taken into consideration. There are other PC hardware/software layout standards, such as the Macintosh.

Function standardization

Therefore, it does not matter, provided that we are talking about the same platform that we have at our disposal - buttons in the "desktop" version or a laptop keyboard - the assignment of the keys will be almost the same in all cases. However, there are still nuances. In many ways, they are due, first of all, to the difference in the dimensions of the "desktop" and laptop. At the disposal of the user of a conventional PC, as a rule, is a whole table. It can accommodate a very large keyboard. In the most daring design formats. Another thing is the laptop keyboard. Assigning keys toit, although almost the same as on the "desktop" - the buttons have to be located extremely compactly. As a result, a laptop manufacturer may decide to remove some key groups altogether.

Does the designation of the keys on the laptop keyboard differ depending on the specific brand? For the most part, no. And this is also largely due to the marketing factor: the manufacturer wants the user, relatively speaking, accustomed to what is at his disposal - the keyboard of a Lenovo laptop, can easily adapt to a similar hardware component from ASUS, and vice versa. Differences, if any, they usually lie in the design of the buttons, their height, shape, color, material of manufacture. The keyboard for an Acer laptop is thus almost identical to its counterparts from ASUS, HP, Dell and other brands, based on the assignment of the buttons.

However, it will be useful to know the key features of the distribution of functions associated with specific keys. It does not matter - we are talking about buttons adapted for the "desktop", or the laptop keyboard is being studied. The assignment of keys to functional groups, especially in combination with others, is a very interesting area for studying the capabilities of a computer. So let's start by researching the appropriate button types.

Function keys

Function keys on a laptop keyboard are almost always present - when it comes to equipment released by well-known manufacturers - Acer, Lenovo, ASUS. Consider what each is responsible for. There are 12 function keys in total. They are located above all the others. Let's study what they are responsible for.

The F1 key is almost always programmed to call up help - in the operating system or in some separate program. This function, one might say, is unchanged for all PC models - you use a keyboard for an HP, Lenovo, or ASUS laptop - it doesn't matter. In some cases, if the built-in help file is not provided by the program, pressing F1 may instruct the computer to load the software manufacturer's web page with the necessary information.

HP laptop keyboard
HP laptop keyboard

The traditional purpose of F2 is to rename the selected file or folder.

The F3 button in most cases is responsible for calling the Windows search engine - loading its general interface, using which you can search for files throughout the computer, or local - in a separate window. If a folder is open, then the search will be conducted by the objects located in it, if the browser window or, say, Word is active, then by the text on the page.

The F4 key is mainly adapted to use third-party file shells such as Total Commander. Its usefulness in Windows is estimated by many experts as not so obvious. But one can argue with this opinion: pressing F4, say, in a browser, you can open the address bar - this is faster than a similar action with the mouse.

The F5 key is used to quickly update the contents of the application window, desktop orWindows Explorer. At the same time, in third-party file shells, its use, as a rule, is completely different. For example, in Total Commander, using this key on a laptop or desktop keyboard, files and folders are moved.

The F6 key has approximately the same functionality as F4. True, in this case, as a rule, the list with the history of sites in the address bar of the browser is not activated.

Some buttons on laptop and desktop keyboards - F7, F8, F9, and F12 do not have a strict functional binding. Depending on the specific program, or device model, they can be programmed for different commands. This is exactly the case when we can observe the dissimilarity of technologies used by brands producing equipment or programs.

In turn, the meaning of the F10 and F11 keyboard keys of a laptop or "desktop" is fairly standardized - when it comes to using them in a Windows system. The F10 button is responsible for opening the application menu. F11 is usually programmed to switch windows from normal to full screen and vice versa.

The functions of the laptop keyboard keys have distinctive specifics: as a rule, they are programmed with actions that imply their combination with a specific Fn button, which is absent on desktop keyboards in most cases. Now we will consider the features of working with them.

Fn key

The Fn key on a laptop is usually highlighted in a separate color -for example, white, or blue - so that the user can easily find it on the keyboard. There are usually one or two such keys on the device. Pressing Fn in its pure form, as a rule, does not imply the execution of any function. But its combination with function keys is programmed for a large number of useful actions. Their specific content depends on the brand of the laptop. An ASUS laptop keyboard may therefore differ in terms of Fn key operation from a similar hardware element in Lenovo or Acer devices. However, experts identify several common patterns for all computers regarding the use of Fn capabilities. Consider them.

In combination with the F1 key, the Fn key can, for example, command the computer to turn off (turn off the power). This saves time when comparing this operation with the same procedure performed with the mouse.

In combination with the F2 button, the Fn key in some cases allows you to call up a window of settings related to energy saving. This option can be useful if, for example, it is discovered that the laptop is running out of battery power, and it urgently needs to be transferred to another, more economical mode of operation.

ASUS laptop keyboard
ASUS laptop keyboard

The Fn key on a laptop in combination with the F3 button can be responsible for turning wireless interfaces on and off - for example, Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. This is convenient if, for example, there are no hardware switches on the computer case that can be used to perform similar actions.

Combined withF4 button The Fn key is usually programmed to send a command to the computer to go to sleep (without shutting down). In some brands of laptops, the same combination is also responsible for "waking up" the computer.

Using a combination of Fn and F5 on most models of equipment, you can activate or deactivate the video signal output to an external display connected via a wired interface to the video card. At the same time, on many laptops this is the only way to carry out this kind of action by a hardware method - an alternative may be a rather long procedure for outputting a video signal using software settings.

Turn off the monitor, as a rule, allows a combination of Fn and F6 or F7. This key assignment is useful if, for example, the user decides to move away from the computer for a while - in this case, you can save electricity by turning off the display.

Fairly useful combination - Fn and F8. It allows you to turn on or turn off the sound on the computer (at the same time, the current sound level is not reset - after pressing this combination again, the settings are restored). This key assignment is useful if, for example, someone called a person on the phone, you need to urgently answer, and loud music is playing on the PC.

Many laptops temporarily disable the Touch Pad, a built-in touch-type device that performs similar functions to a mouse. This action can be performed by pressing the combination of Fn and F9.

If you use the combination of Fn and F10, you can change the keyboard layout. This is useful if, for example, morethe usual keys don't work for some reason.

If the laptop has a numeric keypad (usually located on the right), then you can activate or deactivate it by using the combination of Fn and F11.

The combination of Fn and F12 can be programmed for a fairly wide range of actions, depending on the specific computer model. An HP laptop keyboard might do one thing, a similar hardware component from Acer might do another. In some cases, this combination implies some programmatic action - for example, activating the screen movement function, which works, in particular, in Excel.

Also note that the Fn key can be programmed for any function in combination not only with buttons with the F index, but also in combination with the usual ones, which are located lower on the keyboard. Again, it all depends on the device model. The keyboard for an ASUS laptop may have its own rules, for Lenovo they may be completely different. For example, in some device models, the combination of Fn and a key that displays the number 1 (and an exclamation mark) can adjust the brightness level of the display. The combination of Fn and the button that has the number 2 (the @ icon) on it can, in turn, control the volume of the sound.

So we have studied what features the laptop keyboard is characterized by, the assignment of functional type keys. Now let's move on to the study of the most interesting category of buttons. They are called "hot keys". What are their characteristics?

"Hot" keys

Almost onall keyboards designed for PCs in the IBM architecture and running Windows, and therefore in laptops too, have so-called "hot keys". They are designed to quickly activate some hardware or software function of the OS, which, as a rule, is longer and more difficult to call through mouse actions. Let's take a look at the range of the most popular features provided by "hot keys" in Windows 7, one of the most popular operating systems today. Note that the combinations of buttons that we will give below work if we have at our disposal any device for data input - the "desktop" version, or the keyboard of an ASUS laptop. The purpose of the "hot type" keys, in general, is the same on all devices. Provided, of course, that they have Windows installed.

Hot keys with pressing ALT

One of the basic keyboard buttons used when activating various functions in hot mode is ALT. What possibilities opens up by pressing it in combination with other keys? Among the most noteworthy functions is the activation or deactivation of the file panel: for this you need to use a combination of "Image" and P.

Buttons on a laptop keyboard
Buttons on a laptop keyboard

The combination of alt=""Image" and TAB allows you to quickly switch between windows of active applications running in Windows. The alt=" "Image" key in combination with the UP button allows you to climb higher in the structure of open folder windows. Combination of alt=""Image" and F4closes the window of the active application, or exits the program or computer game. The combination of "Image" and a space allows you to open the context menu of the running window.

Hot keys with CTRL press

Another group of useful combinations is "headed" by the CTRL key. Consider examples of popular combinations. The combination of CTRL and A allows you to select all files and folders in the window, or all text and other objects located on the document page or, for example, in the browser. The combination of CTRL and C is a convenient and well-known tool for copying text and other objects. If the second letter is replaced with V, then you can insert the selected one. When using X instead of C - the object is "cut", and after pressing V - it moves to the place specified by the user.

Laptop keyboard keys
Laptop keyboard keys

The combination of CTRL and N allows you to create a new file or document in the corresponding editor program, if you replace N with O, then open the object. The combination of CTRL and P sends text or other data from the screen to be printed to the printer. The combination of CTRL and Z allows you to undo the last action taken by the user. The combination of CTRL and F4 is a bit like pressing "Image" and F4 - the active window with the document is closed, while in the second case, the running program is completely exited. By pressing CTRL and ESC you can open the start menu. Using a combination of three keys - CTRL, SHIFT and N, you can create a new folder. The task manager cancall by pressing a combination of CTRL and TAB.

Hot keys and WIN button

In most cases, the buttons on a laptop or "desktop" keyboard contain the WIN key. This button looks like a corporate flag from Microsoft. It, in its own way, is adapted for the Windows operating system. By the way, it was introduced into the keyboard structure relatively recently (when compared with the evolution of the development of the corresponding PC hardware component) - in 1995, after the Windows 95 OS entered the market. In other OS, it is usually not functional. Although, this is not always the case - in many modern open source operating systems, functions based on the WIN button are implemented quite fully. Still, the trend reflecting the standardization of technologies is typical not only for the hardware area, but also for software. Let's take a look at the possibilities offered by using the WIN key in combination with other buttons.


If you press a combination of WIN and UP, you can expand the active application window to full screen. In turn, if you replace UP with DOWN in this combination, the window will collapse, or its original size will be restored. Pressing WIN and the left arrow moves the active window to the left side of the screen. If you use the "right" button, then the window will also move in the same direction. The combination of WIN and HOME allows you to simultaneously minimize or maximize all windows, except for the one that acts as the active one. Using the combination of WIN and E, you can open Windows Explorer. Enlarge or reducethe image on the screen is possible by using a combination of WIN and the "+" or "-" buttons. The combination of WIN and F starts the file search system.

Standardization of "software"

Let's note the most important nuance - all the above patterns in terms of keyboard shortcuts are fully functional when working in Windows. If the user has a different operating system at his disposal - for example, Linux or Google OS, then there may be discrepancies in the aspect of binding button combinations to certain functions. At the same time, as many IT experts note, the universalization of technologies is observed not only at the hardware level - in relation to the assignment of keys (we talked about this at the beginning of the article), but also in the software direction. That is, if we talk about the latest versions of operating systems other than Windows, then in many of them the algorithms for implementing "hot" functions or using, say, the WIN key, are similar to those (or even completely identical) that are present in the most popular in operating system world.

We also note that historically Windows is not the first operating system under which the keys that we studied today were adapted. By the time this OS entered the market, keyboards with the arrangement of function and other buttons - identical to the way we see them now, or in a very similar way - had existed for decades. So, it is more fair to say that the functionality of many keys is dictated not only by the leadership of Windows, but also by historical background.


Having studied the featureskeyboard designs for "desktops" and laptops, we can draw a number of conclusions.

Fn key on a laptop
Fn key on a laptop

Firstly, there are groups of keys that have a fairly strict binding to some specific functions - and most of them. There are, in turn, buttons that allow you to send commands to the computer, depending on the context of a particular application.

Secondly, we have the right to note a fairly large variety of combinations of various keys. In many cases, they can be used as a viable alternative to working with a mouse, and as a result, use the PC more efficiently.

Thirdly, we have the right to note a high level of standardization not only in terms of the location and purpose of the keys, but also at the level of interpretation of their various combinations by PC software elements - the operating system, applications for viewing and editing files, browsers.

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