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A fun cluster is a term for a cluster of function keys together, often to the left side of the main typing area.
The term is more often used for named keys with dedicated functions than for general-purpose numbered softkeys.
Some keyboards have more than one cluster, with different functions.
One of the earliest computer systems with a fun cluster was the Xerox Star, one of the earliest systems with a graphical user interface. Drag and Drop had not yet been invented, so named keys in the fun' cluster on the left were used together with mouse clicks to perform actions. There was also named keys on the top of the keyboard for formatting text.
Some actions of the keys in the function cluster are these days most often available as commands in context menus. For example, the "PROP'S" key opened a "Properties" dialogue-box for the selected object.
Early keyboards had a cluster on the left:
... and a cluster on the right:
Later keyboards omitted the right cluster for a numeric keypad, and the left cluster was extended and rearranged into:
Workstation keyboards from Sun Microsystems had several groups of function keys. On the Sun Type 3 the keys in a cluster on the left-hand side were labeled L1..L10, but they had often distinct uses in programs and stickers with names of them were available. Starting with the Sun Type 4 keyboard, the keys were named and a Help key was added. This continued with the Sun Type 5, Sun Type 6 and Sun Type 7 keyboards.
On Sun Type 4 the Help key was at the bottom.
Several various keyboards have been made with named function keys in various locations, often intermingled with media keys. The most often used are Cut, Copy and Paste.
The Kinesis Freestyle line has a 2×5 fun' cluster on the left-hand side, except for the Freestyle Edge gaming keyboards on which they are instead generic macro keys. Above the cluster is a 2u Esc key.
|Freestyle2||Freestyle2 Mac||Freestyle Pro||Freestyle Edge|
- Deskthority thread. Photos:Xerox X998. Posted 2015-12-11. Retrieved 2015-12-13.
- Deskthority thread Photos:Xerox Docutech Keyboards and Restoration (Alps SKCM Neon Green). Retrieved 2016-03-06
- Kinesis brochure—posted in Deskthority thread "Kinesis planning split ergo gaming board" on 2015-05-14