Fred’s Head from APH, a Blindness Blog

Fred’s Head, offered by the American Printing House for the Blind, contains tips, techniques, tutorials, in-depth articles, and resources for and by blind or visually impaired people. Our blog is named after the legendary Fred Gissoni, renowned for answering a seemingly infinite variety of questions on every aspect of blindness.

(See the end of this page for subscribing via email, RSS, browsing articles by subject, blog archive, APH resources, writing for Fred's Head, and disclaimers.)



Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Special Function Keys

Message: I just bought a new keyboard and I love it, but I can't figure out what the keys across the top are for. Can you please help me with this? Thanks!
location: Kentucky

Sure! I know exactly what you're talking about. The keys you're referring to are called special function keys. They are small buttons that run along the very top of the keyboard. Different keyboards have different keys, but the most common ones are an email button, a search button, a connect button (for the Internet) and a calculator button. Some even have a sleep mode function, a volume control right on the keyboard itself and multimedia keys.

These extra keys are nice to have, if you want to get into your email or use the calculator, for example, you can just hit that button one time and the program will pop right up on your screen. It's like your wish lies right at your fingertips.

If you've already been using the special keys, that's great and you should keep doing so. If you have the buttons, but don't know how to use them, you should refer to the software that came with your keyboard. Look through the manual as well and there should be instructions on how to configure the buttons so you can start to use them.

Every keyboard is different, so it's hard to tell you how to make these work without skipping over someone's model, but all the answers should be right there in your manual. Once you get them working, I don't think you'll ever want to stop. Check them out today!

No comments:

Subscribe to receive posts via email

* indicates required

Browse Articles by Subject

Follow us on Twitter


Write for us

Your input and support in the evolution of Fred's Head are invaluable! Contact us about contributing original writing or for suggestions for updating existing articles. Email us at


The American Printing House for the Blind (APH) makes every attempt to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the data contained in the Fred's Head articles; however, APH makes no warranty, guarantee, or promise, expressed or implied, concerning the content or accuracy of the information provided in Fred's Head. APH does not endorse any technique, product, device, service, organization, or other information presented in Fred's Head, other than products and services directly offered by APH.

The products produced by the American Printing House for the Blind are instructional/teaching materials and are intended to be used by trained professionals, parents, and other adults with children who are blind and visually impaired. These materials are not intended as toys for use by children in unstructured play or in an unsupervised environment.

The information and techniques contained in Fred's Head are provided without legal consideration (free-of-charge) and are not warranted by APH to be safe or effective. All users of this service assume the risk of any injury or damage that may result from the use of the information provided.

Information in Fred's Head is not intended as a substitute for professional advice or treatment. Consult your physician before utilizing information regarding your health that may be presented on this site. Consult other professionals as appropriate for legal, financial, and related advice.

Fred's Head articles may contain links to other websites. APH is not responsible for the content of these sites.

Fred's Head articles created by APH staff are (C) copyright American Printing House for the Blind, Inc. You must request permission from APH to reprint these articles. Email to request permission.

Any submissions to Fred's Head should be free of copyright restrictions and should be the intellectual property of the submitter. By submitting information to Fred's Head, you are granting APH permission to publish this information.

Fair Use Notice: This website may contain copyrighted material whose use has not been specifically authorized by the copyright holder(s). This site is operated on the assumption that using this information constitutes 'fair use' of said copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law.

Opinions appearing in Fred's Head records are solely those of the contributor and do not necessarily reflect the views of the American Printing House for the Blind.