What does the F6 shortcut do?

The F6 shortcut is supposed to cycle through subwindows. However, when I try it, the cursor does something like this:
File menu
Find binoculars
Set Paragraph Style drop-down list
New File icon
document text
File menu

It doesn’t do exactly the same thing every time. What is it supposed to do?


Taken from this document (pdf here):

Repeatedly pressing F6 switches the focus and circles through the
following objects:
• Menu bar
• Every toolbar from top to bottom and from left to right
• Every free window from left to right
• Document

These documents are on LO doc page here. This was Appendix A - Getting Started guides.

Note: Only had one area where “disappear” came about. This turned out to be the cursor. Proved it with some text in document & when it came to that point used arrow keys to move it. When it cycled back to the document the cursor position was changed. Esc during the sequence allowed F6 to start at beginning.

F6 and F10 have unchangeable meanings, because they are used for accessibility purpose. You find all the related shortcuts and its meanings by searching for accessibility in the help.

I am familiar with what the documentation says. It just didn’t make sense to me so I was trying to understand what I was missing. I took it to mean that F6 would, for example, cycle through all of the menus in the menu bar.

I understand now. F6 just navigates to the beginning of the menu, toolbar, or window, or to somewhere in the document. The crucial information that I was missing is that the arrow keys can then be used to navigate through the menu, toolbar, or window (and that Escape disrupts the circling).

What probably threw me off was that it says “Every toolbar from top to bottom and from left to right”. I took that to mean that it cycles through all of the options within a toolbar (even though it sounds unrealistic and a bit crazy).

oops! just repeated the paragraph. Please ignore.

How it works seems obvious now but the explanation may not always be obvious at first. I could probably have figured this out eventually but others not as obsessed as I would probably just give up.

Thank you, Ratslinger and Regina, for helping to make sense of this.

@catbill Of particular disturbance to me was not knowing where you currently were (disappear for lack of better word right now) such as when the cursor was selected for me. This alone is very confusing.

Yes, this is certainly useful for accessibility, but I wonder how people who use it consistently think about that feature. It would be helpful to understand why it does that, especially since Esc can readily move the cursor back to the text.