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The function keys are a set of twelve numbered keys that are used by different software programs for a variety of different purposes. They are sometimes called programmable function keys or just F-keys or PF-keys.
The original PC keyboard designs had 10 function keys, arranged in a 2x5 matrix on the left-hand side of the keyboard. With the introduction of the 101-key Enhanced keyboard, this was expanded to 12 keys, which were moved to a single row along the top of the keyboard. The exact duty of the function keys depends entirely on how the software chooses to interpret them.
This table shows the key numbers and scan codes for the function keys:
Next: Special Keys