What's the Use of the Menu Key?

By Xah Lee. Date: . Last updated: .
menu key  ms wired keyboard 600
the ▤ Menu key, left of Ctrl.

The ▤ Menu key, also known as Apps key, is meant to be a application-specific context menu key.

The ▤ Menu key is invented by Microsoft. It first appeared on the Microsoft Natural Keyboard in 1994.

Microsoft Natural Keyboard Gen1-s
The Microsoft Natural Keyboard, 1994. 4032×3024 image source

[see Microsoft Natural Keyboard]

In desktop (file manager), you can press 【▤ Menu r】 to rename, 【▤ Menu d】 to delete, 【▤ Menu p】 to show info/properties, etc.

In Firefox, you can press 【▤ Menu c】 to copy, and 【▤ Menu p】 to paste. Also works in terminal and most other apps.

Menu Key vs Fn Key

When you buy a keyboard, never get one that has Fn key in place of ▤ Menu key. Because, the Fn key is hardwired, you cannot remap in OS. If you don't like its preset multimedia functions, it becomes a useless key on one of the most important spot. Like, a dead horse squatting in front yard.

Menu Key Use in Emacs

[see Emacs: How to Define Menu Key]

Keyboard Keys Topic

  1. Keyboard Big Fat Enter Key
  2. Keyboard Home/End Keys Arrangement
  3. Tiny Space Bar on Japanese Keyboards
  4. Keyboard Page Key
  5. Print Screen, SysRq/ScrLk, Pause/Break Keys
  6. Control Key and Capslock Key Positions in Old Keyboards
  7. Keyboard Evolution: Zoom Button, Dedicated Keys
  8. Keyboards with Volume Wheel
  9. Keyboard Modifier Keys, Short Survey
  10. Why Function Keys F1 F2 Are Useful
  11. What's the Use of the Menu Key?
  12. Backspace Key: Key Label's Influence on Key Purpose
  13. Alt Graph Key, Compose Key, Dead Key