When you look at your keyboard, whether on the laptop or externally, you may notice there are separate characters that are colored in blue. These are what people call blue keys. They are there to give users additional characters or functions that can be accessed by pressing some keys.
Now, you might wonder about how to access the blue keys, and we understand that as most keyboards don’t come with a manual about them. Before knowing the answer to “how to access the blue keys on my keyboard?”, it’s better for us to first learn what the blue keys do and what they actually are.
When you do see some blue keys on your keyboard, there’s a way you can access them. Most people would probably think that using Fn will do the job. However, it’s not true.
Fn Buttons and Blue Keys Are Two Different Things
The Fn button, which you can find on the bottom right side of the keyboard, functions to activate the F1-F12 buttons. For example, if you want to make your laptop sleep, simply press Fn and F4 (the Zzz icon), and that’s it.
These Fn buttons are filled with a lot of functionalities, from adjusting the volume, display brightness, to deactivating the touchpad. However, know that the buttons may display different functionalities on your keyboard, and that’s really fine as not all keyboards are uniform.
Now, let’s talk about the blue keys. Blue keys are usually found on certain laptops, like HP Pavilion. These devices have certain keys that are displayed in blue. The goal here is to make user easier to access additional characters without having to use a text editor or additional app. These keys are usually placed in all places, but mostly on the right and upper side of the qwerty board.
When seeing them for the first time, you may notice that one key may have like three or more characters and some of them are in blue. The letter that’s in white can be accessed simply by clicking the Shift button. But how about the blue keys?
How to Access the Blue Keys
Although these keys can be quite intimidating for some people who see it for the first time, accessing this button is actually easy. Here’s how to access the blue key:
- First, you have to find the Ctrl and Shift buttons.
- Click them at the same time
- When you do it once, you can access the blue keys located just beside the qwerty board.
Most of these keys are accented letters, like â, ê, or û. Besides using the blue keys, you can also manually input the accented letters by pressing the right Alt + the letter code.
For example, if you want to write â, then simply press right alt and 131. The accented letters have their own unique codes, so feel free to find them on the internet.
Although the blue keys are the same, accessing the ones on the right side and in the numbers can be quite different. So, if the steps above are for using the side blue keys, now here’s what you need to do to use the numeric blue keys:
- Find the Ctrl + Alt + the key you want to press
- Click them altogether starting from the Ctrl
- And it’s done!
By having the blue keys, surely users may benefit from the extra functionalities. Here are some of them:
As the blue keys offer new additional symbols, they make it easier for users whenever they want to input some in their documents. Despite the workaround, simply pressing these blue key buttons will make the process a lot simpler. With just a press of a few buttons, a user may freely access these blue keys.
Depending on the country, you may receive a keyboard that has a different set of keys. People who are used to writing with accented letters may find it troubling when they moved somewhere that doesn’t have them.
Fortunately, most blue keys can be used to make accented letters. Although it’s not complete, at least you can access the accented vocal letters in this simple way.
Actually, when you see the blue keys, you may notice that they represent certain types of letters, like accented letters, unique symbols, and specific numbering.
These accented letters can be usually found on the right side of the qwerty board. The blue keys available here will offer access to accented vocal letters, like â, î, û, ê, ô. The importance of these letters is to show certain pronunciations which may result in the different meanings of a word.
For example, divorce and divorcé. Although the two are related in the same context, their meanings are different. The first is the action, while the second is the subject, a divorced man. This is just an example of many things that could be interpreted differently when accented letters are used.
For those dealing with accounting or mathematic tasks, the blue keys also present additional numeric characters, like ², ³, ¼, ½, and ¾. Although all of these letters can be accessed by using the Character Map app, the blue keys are more straightforward solution.
These keys are important for those who need a quick access to the extra numbers. Opening the Character Map again and again could be quite frustrating, so the blue keys are here as solution.
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Not exactly. Modern keyboards in fact will get rid of these keys in order to make the layout more simple for general consumers to use. While having the blue keys can be good for some, the addition of those letters might be felt too extensive. These keys are not even used most of the time, making their existence seems to be irrelevant.
However, you can still all the important symbols on most keyboards today, although they’re not as many as with the blue keys. But you can still always have access to the unique letters through the Character Map app, which is installed on default in Windows.
So that’s how to access the blue keys on the keyboard, hopefully, it may answer your questions. When used properly, the keys can really help to access certain unique letters that are not available on conventional keyboards. Now that you finally know how to access them, you basically have extra symbols that can be directly accessed through your keyboard.