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Using the Function Keys

Access assigns specific purposes to all 12 function keys of the 101-key extended keyboard. Some keys, such as Shift+F4 (which you press to find the next occurrence of a match with the Find dialog), derive from other Microsoft applications—in this case, Word.

Global Function Keys

Windows, rather than Access, uses global function-key assignments, except for F11, Ctrl+F1, and Alt+F1, to perform identical functions in all Windows applications. Table 3.4 lists the global function-key assignments.

Table 3.4. Global Function-Key Assignments
F1Displays context-sensitive help related to the present basic function and status of Access. If a context-sensitive help topic isn’t available, F1 opens the Microsoft Access Help task pane page, which lets you search online help for a keyword or open its table of contents.
Shift+F1Adds a question mark to the mouse pointer when hovering over an element that has a description. Place the mouse pointer with the question mark over an object onscreen for which you want more information and then click.
Ctrl+F1Toggles (alternates) visibility of the task pane in all Office 2003 members.
Ctrl+F4Closes the active window.
Alt+F4Exits Access or closes a dialog if one is open.
Ctrl+F6Selects each open window in sequence as the active window.
F11Selects the Database window as the active window.
F12Opens the File Save As dialog.
Shift+F12Saves your open database; the equivalent of the File menu’s Save command.

Function-Key Assignments for Fields, Grids, and Text Boxes

Access assigns function-key combinations that aren’t reserved for global operations to actions specific to the basic function that you’re performing at the moment. Table 3.5 lists the function-key combinations that apply to fields, grids, and text boxes. (To present complete information, this table repeats some information that appears in the previous tables.)

→ For an extensive list of Access shortcut key assignments, see “Using Keyboard Operations for Entering and Editing Data,” p. 218.

Table 3.5. Function Keys for Fields, Grids, and Text Boxes
F2Toggles between displaying the caret for editing and selecting the entire field.
Shift+F2Opens the Zoom box to make typing expressions and other text easier.
F4Opens a drop-down combo list or list box.
Shift+F4Finds the next occurrence of a match of the text typed in the Find or Replace dialog, if the dialog is closed.
F5Moves the caret to the record-number box. Type the number of the record that you want to display.
F6In Table Design view, cycles between upper- and lower parts of the window. In Form Design view, cycles through the header, body (detail section), and footer.
F7Starts the spelling checker.
F8Turns on extend mode. Press F8 again to extend the selection to a word, the entire field, the whole record, and then all records.
Shift+F8Reverses the F8 selection process.
Ctrl+FOpens the Find dialog.
Ctrl+HOpens the Replace dialog.
Ctrl++ (plus sign)Adds a new record to the database.
Shift+EnterSaves changes to the active record in the database.
EscUndoes changes in the current record or field. By pressing Esc twice, you can undo changes in the current field and record. Also cancels extend mode.

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