Function Keys in Excel (F1-F12): Their Usabilities and How to Use Them - Compute Expert

Function Keys in Excel (F1-F12): Their Usabilities and How to Use Them


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In this tutorial, you will learn the usabilities and how to use the function keys in excel completely.

When working in excel, shortcut keys can help us run functions fast and work more productively as a result. Some of the most useful shortcuts we can use in excel involve the function keys (F1-F12 buttons) in our keyboard. Thus, it can help a lot if we master how to utilize these function keys in excel optimally.

Want to learn more about the usabilities and how to utilize the function keys in excel? Read this tutorial until its last part!

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F1 in Excel: Usabilities and How to Use

For our discussion about the function keys utilization in excel, we will start with the F1 button.

In this tutorial, we will discuss the button(s) we should press with the function keys to run a function. We will also discuss what excel function we will run if we press a function key with its buttons partner. We will do this for all the function keys sections we discuss here.

By learning from them and practice them in excel regularly, you should be able to master the excel function keys utilization!

(The left side is the button(s) you should press while the right side is the excel function it will run)

  • F1: Shows the “Excel Help” dialog box
  • Ctrl + F1: Toggles the ribbon display
  • Alt + F1: Creates a chart for the data in the cell range you currently highlight
  • Alt + Shift + F11: Inserts a new worksheet



F2 in Excel: Usabilities and How to Use

  • F2: Activates the edit mode in the active cell. If you are currently in a formula editing mode, toggles the mode to create a reference by using arrow buttons
  • Ctrl + F2: Shows the print menu
  • Shift + F2: Add or edit comment in the active cell
  • Alt + F2: Shows the “Save As” dialog box
  • Shift + Alt + F2: Saves the active workbook
  • Ctrl + Alt + F2: Shows the “Open File” dialog box



F3 in Excel: Usabilities and How to Use

  • F3: Shows the “Paste Name” dialog box (only if you have defined the names in your workbook)
  • Ctrl + F3: Shows the “Name Manager” dialog box
  • Shift + F3: Shows the “Insert Function” dialog box
  • Ctrl + Shift + F3: Shows the “Create Names from Selection” dialog box. Give names from the row or column labels of the cells you currently highlight
  • Ctrl + Alt + F3: Shows the “New Name” dialog box to give a name to the cell range or cell you currently highlight


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F4 in Excel: Usabilities and How to Use

  • F4 (while your typing cursor is in a cell reference in a formula): toggles between relative and absolute references
  • F4: Repeats the last activity
  • Ctrl + F4: Closes the active workbook
  • Shift + F4: Finds the last data you type in the Find and Replace dialog box
  • Alt + F4: Closes excel



F5 in Excel: Usabilities and How to Use

  • F5: Shows the “Go To” dialog box
  • Ctrl + F5: Maximizes/restores the active workbook window
  • Shift + F5: Shows the “Find and Replace” dialog box



F6 in Excel: Usabilities and How to Use

  • F6 (while in Split View): Switches between split view panels
  • F6: Switches between task pane (if available), ribbon, and the application window
  • Ctrl + F6: Switches to the previous workbook you open if you currently open multiple workbooks


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F7 in Excel: Usabilities and How to Use

  • F7: Runs a spelling check to the active worksheet
  • Ctrl + F7: Moves the workbook window if it isn’t maximized
  • Shift + F7: Shows the “Research” sidebar



F8 in Excel: Usabilities and How to Use

  • F8: Toggles the “Extend Selection” mode. In the “Extend Selection” mode, you can select multiple adjacent cells with your arrow keys
  • Ctrl + F8: Moves the workbook window if it isn’t maximized
  • Shift + F8: Keeps selecting the currently active cell/cell range. Meanwhile, you can press your arrow keys to select other cell/cell range
  • Alt + F8: Shows the “Macro” dialog box



F9 in Excel: Usabilities and How to Use

  • F9: Recalculates all formulas in your open workbooks
  • Ctrl + F9: Minimizes the active workbook
  • Shift + F9: Recalculates all formulas in the active worksheet
  • Ctrl + Alt + F9: Recalculates all formulas in your open workbooks. Does this regardless whether you have changed them since you last calculated them or not
  • Ctrl + Shift + Alt + F9: Rechecks and recalculates all dependent formulas in your open workbooks, including the formulas not marked for calculation


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F10 in Excel: Usabilities and How to Use

  • F10: Switches between ribbon and application window
  • Ctrl + F10: Shows the “Selection” sidebar
  • Shift + F10: Opens the right-click menu on the active cell/cell range
  • Alt + F10: Maximizes/restores the active workbook window
  • Ctrl + Shift + F10: Switches between ribbon, quick access toolbar, and the application window



F11 in Excel: Usabilities and How to Use

  • F11: Inserts a new worksheet to create a chart for the data in the cell range you currently highlight
  • Ctrl + F11: Inserts a new worksheet for macro
  • Shift + F11: Inserts a new worksheet
  • Alt + F11: Opens the VB editor window. If you have already opened it, then switches between the application and the VB editor window
  • Shift + Alt + F11: Opens the Script editor window



F12 in Excel: Usabilities and How to Use

  • F12: Shows the “Save As” dialog box
  • Ctrl + F12: Shows the “Open File” dialog box
  • Shift + F12: Saves the active workbook
  • Ctrl + Shift + F12: Shows the “Print” menu



Exercise

After you have learned about the function keys usabilities and utilization methods in excel, let’s practice your understanding!

Open an excel file and try some of the function keys we mentioned in this tutorial. Prioritize the trial of the function keys that can run the operations you often use when you work in excel!

What is the result? Can you use the function keys in your excel file?



Additional Note

The most popular function key in excel is probably F4. Its ability to toggle between relative and absolute references in a formula is often useful when working in excel.



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