Here's our Windows XP Tip for.. November 21, 2005
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What's Your Function?
You can assign function keys to programs. However, you need to be aware that many of these keys are already assigned to run programs. If you reassign them, you'll lose the original function and program key assignments.

As an example, F1 is assigned to Help. When you press F1, the Help window will open. This will work in almost all Windows programs. If you assign F1 to open a program, you'll lose the ability to press F1 in any program when you want to open Help.

To assign a function key to run a program, say Microsoft Word, do the following: Place a shortcut to Word on your desktop. Now, right-click the shortcut's icon and choose Properties from the context menu. In the Properties dialog box, click the Shortcut tab. Next, click once in the Shortcut Key entry box. Press your function key of choice to assign it to Word. Click OK to close the dialog box. When you press F1 now, Word will open.