Introduction to laptop keystrokes

This week we’ll talk about some common laptop shortcut keys.

Most laptops have an “Fn” (or “Function”) button, usually in the lower left, and quite often color-coded in blue. This Fn button usually is used to get alternate keystrokes, necessary because a laptop keyboard usually has fewer keys than a desktop keyboard, so more keys have to do extra duty. For example, the “J” key usually doubles as a 1 on the number pad, so Fn+J produces a 1.

On many laptops (but by no means all), the function keys across the top center double as special laptop controls when used with the Fn button.

You’re no doubt familiar with the Fn+F8 key to toggle on the external monitor. This isn’t universal, but it’s pretty common. (I’ve also seen laptops that use Fn+F7 for the same purpose.)

Usually Fn+F8 cycles between the following three modes:

  1. Laptop monitor only
  2. Laptop monitor plus external monitor
  3. External monitor only

20 thoughts on “Introduction to laptop keystrokes”

  1. Sounds a bit stupid but I have managed to press something and the right hand side of the kepyboard is coming up with numbers and i can only type if i hole down the fn button whilst typing. Have u any idea how to change it back?
    Thanks, Kat

  2. I don’t have a laptop but estephan’s doesnt seem to be around so I’ll have a guess.

    It sounds like the Num Lock is on or womething similar. (It’s the numpad on a normal keyboard moved over isn’t it?) Look for lights that change when you press buttons on your keyboard.

    It sounds like it could be a Fn Lock (it toggles Fn on/off instead of having to hold it down) but i dont know what i’m talking about so I’ll shut up.

  3. hi
    i also had a similar problem where i couldn’t get the right keys on the right hand side of the keyboard.My laptop being compaq presario v5000 i noticed the scroll + num lock light was on. i deactivated it whilst pressing the function key + the scroll lock key itself.
    can’t believe my keyboard is ok now…………………………..

  4. Acer laptop aspire one. Screen is broken want to switch to monitor but the fnand f5 combo don’t work for switching to external monitor wut might b the prob thx

  5. Tap the FN key with firm but not too hard strokes whilst typing in a notepad or word document to monitor the return to normal key mode. Sometimes the function key (FN) can be activated by accident, and can be reversed as mentioned in this reply. Take care folks.

  6. hi

    My Acer Aspire laptop is barely 6 weeks old…

    I seem to have pressed some keys by accident and now when I try to make a quotation mark, I get È … also trying to use the single quotation I get è

    I was having problems on the number pad using that when I would try to use the arrow keys I would get the numbers instead… don’t know what I did to fix that…

    Please help…


  7. i need to stop programme .for that there is a notification that press stop key .hence i need to know stop key .plz tell me stop button on keyboard

  8. I am using Acer Aspire laptop I also had a similar problem where I couldn’t get the right keys on the right-hand side of the keyboard I like your post very much because you describe point to point in this post.

  9. You described function key on right side of a keyboard but in my its not on the right side but you describe the use of this key in an easy way. If anyone has a problem to setup printer then you can take help from canon tech support official website.

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