Compaq Presario Function Keys Explained

By C.D. Crowder

Compaq Presario computers provide users with a row of function keys for added keyboard functionality. Function keys can serve a dual purpose as well. Function keys are located at the top of Compaq Presario keyboards. By learning how function keys work on a Compaq Presario you can take advantage of time saving keyboard shortcuts.


Use function keys to access menus, save changes and create shortcut keys. Various applications, including Microsoft Office, allow you to select a function key as a shortcut key for running specific tasks. In most cases, you can find shortcut key settings for application on the Tools, Options or Settings section of the menu bar. Each Compaq Presario computer has twelve function keys. The most commonly used keys are “F2,” “F8,” “F10” and “F12.” The first three are used mainly to access and use the Compaq BIOS. “F12” is used to access a set of run from options during the boot process.

How to Access

Access function keys on a Compaq Presario by pressing any of the keys on the top row of the keyboard. Access the key’s dual-purpose function by first pressing the “Fn” key located on the bottom row of keys. Use function keys as shortcut keys by pressing them anytime while in the desired application. Remember, you must set them as shortcut keys first. Note that some programs may already have certain function keys set as shortcuts. Open menus and view the shortcut keys beside each menu item before setting your own shortcuts.

Dual Uses

Each function key has a dual use. Press “Fn” plus the desired function key for the key’s secondary function or use. Below each function number is a small picture within a square or rectangle. This dictates the secondary function or use. “F1” opens help and support. “F2” serves as a printer shortcut. Open your homepage by pressing “F3.” If you use dual monitors, switch between monitors by using “F4.” “F5” puts your computer in stand-by mode. Lock your computer quickly by pressing “F6.” “F7” and “F8” adjust the screen’s contrast. Play and pause your music in Windows Media Player or other default media player by using “F9.” Press “F10” to stop playing media. Skip ahead or rewind media by using “F11” and “F12.”

Other "Fn" Keys

In addition to top-row function keys, the “Fn” key also works with other keys with dual functions. Any key with a small square on the key provides a secondary function such as “Scroll,” “Insert” and “Delete.” Since laptop keyboards have no number pads, certain keys serve as the number pad by pressing the “Fn” key.