Complete Function Keys in Microsoft Word

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Function keys on your keyboard, though neglected, does have a special role to play specified by the software you are running. Sometimes they combine with Ctrl, Alt or Shift keys to provide certain functions.

The Function keys have been a little neglected because many laptop keyboards have them as secondary selections. I.e hold down the Fn to access the Function option and there’s also a Fn lock option to keep the keys as Functions. 

when f9 and other fn keys dont work in word or excel microsoft office 28798 - Complete Function Keys in Microsoft Word

Tell Me — no help

Microsoft’s much hyped ‘Tell Me’ help is no help when it comes to Function keys. The system doesn’t even acknowledge the existence of the Fn shortcuts.

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F9 = Crop Tools????

Why ‘Crop Tools’ appears for a search on F9 is a mystery. F9 shortcuts in Word relate to Field Codes not images. But then Tell Me pretty much ignores keyboard shortcuts altogether.

On Screen Function keys

If you need a Function key (maybe to follow some instructions) one alternative is an on-screen keyboard (OSK).

Windows 10 has an OSK at Settings | Ease of Access | Keyboard.  Press the Fn key to show the Function keys.

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See When F9 and other Fn keys don’t work in Word or Excel

Mac users have a similar on-screen keyboard with an Fn button at bottom left.  Go to Apple menu | System Preferences | Accessibility | Keyboard | Accessibility Keyboard | Enable Accessibility Keyboard.

Let’s discuss in detail the functionality of the F-keys labelled F1 through F12 on your keyboard.


  • 1 – Displays the Word help pane. At times pressing F1 also takes you to Microsoft’s help support webpage and suggest similar topics about the function you are interested to research on. This mostly happens when a dialog box is open, during pressing F1. 
  • Alt+F1:  If you have many fields in your Word document. This option makes you hop to the next field.
  • Alt+Shift+F1:  Takes you to the previous field in your Word document.
  • Shift+F1:   Opens the “Reveal Formatting” pane.


  • F2: Moves Text. Select the text that you want to move and press F2. Place the cursor where you want to move the text and Press enter key to reflect the changes in your word document.
  •  Ctrl + F2:  Takes you to the Print preview page, where you can preview and print your document.
  • Shift+F2: Works like your Ctrl +C. It copies your selected text in the word document.
  • Alt+Shift+F2: Saves the document.
  • Alt+Ctrl+F2: Open document window, where you can easily see and open a document.


  • F3:  Acts as a building block. Once an initial search is performed, F3 will find the next searched value to expand it to the full text.
  • Alt+F3: Create new building block by adding an auto text entry from the selected text.
  • Shift+F3:  Changes the text in Word from upper to lowercase or Initial letter case at the beginning of every word.
  • Ctrl+F3: Cut selected text from your Word document.
  • Ctrl+Shift+F3: Insert the text from the clipboard (performed by Ctrl +F3) After inserting the text it also clears up the clipboard memory.


  • F4: Repeats your last command
  • Shift+F4: Repeats the Last Find. Same as Find Next.
  • Ctrl+F4: Asks to save your document before closing the active document.
  • Alt+F4: Closes the active document, but always asks to save your recent work before quitting Word.


  • F5: Opens the Go To tab on the Find and Replace window. Using this function, you can quickly navigate to a page, section, line, comment, footnote or bookmark.
  • Shift+F5: Moves to the previous modification you made in the current document. If you press again it takes you to the edit before the previous. It remembers 2 last changes made by you.
  • Ctrl+Shift+F5: Displays the Bookmark dialog window.

F6 – Panes

  • F6: Moves to the next pane in a document. This function helps to go to the window without using your mouse.
  • Shift+F6: Moves to the previous pane
  • Ctrl+F6: Moves to the next open document
  • Ctrl+Shift+F6: Moves to the previously open document

F7 – Spelling, Grammar etc

  • F7: Opens the Spelling and Grammar dialog box and start spell check
  • Shift+F7: Displays the thesaurus pane. If you have selected a word and pressed this function key it will look up the selected word in the Thesaurus pane.
  • Alt+F7: Checks for the next spelling or grammar error in your word document.
  • Alt+Shift+F7: Opens the Translation pane. If you have selected a text in your word document and quickly wants to translate it into another language available in the Translator option. It instantly does that for you.

F8 – Selection

  • F8: In Word, if you select a section and Press F8 it extends selection for the rest of the text in the document
  • Shift+F8: This option reduces the expansion of the selected text
  • Ctrl+Shift+F8: Selects a column. After selecting the text, use the left and right arrow keys to expand selection to other columns.

F9 – Field Codes

  • F9: Updates field codes in the word document
  • Shift +F9: Show a field’s code in the word document
  • Ctrl +F9: Inserts empty fields showing 2 curly brackets
  • Ctrl + Shift +F9: Unlinks a field code
  • Alt +F9: Toggles between field code and results.


  • F10:  Pressing this key display single letter shortcuts to access the menu commands on Word. Same as pressing Alt.
  • Shift+F10: Displays a context menu.
  • Ctrl+F10: Maximizes document window.
  • Alt+Shift+F10: Displays a menu for an available selection. Same as right-mouse click.

F11 – more Field Codes

  • F11: Moves to the next field in your document.
  • Shift+F11: Moves to the previous field in your document
  • Ctrl+F11: Locks a field code so that it cannot be modified
  • Ctrl+Shift+F11: Unlock a field code

F12 – Save, Open, Print

  • F12: Opens the Save As window to save your document.
  • Shift+F12: Saves your document.
  • Ctrl+F12: Displays the Open window.
  • Ctrl+Shift+F12: Open the Print window.

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