Geek Trivia

A Keyboard Shortcut Designed To Hide Your Current Activity Is Known As What?

An Escape Hatch
A Disco Drop
A Panic Button
A Boss Key
The Highest Grade Of Leather Is Called?

Answer: A Boss Key

A boss key is a simple keyboard shortcut, often a single key such as F10 or ScrLk, included in some applications or existing as a separate helper application altogether, that allows the user to rapidly conceal or exit a program that is not work appropriate.

While many modern applications–usually games or other typically unproductive applications–come with a custom boss key, prior to the 1980s the practice was virtually unknown. Some of the first programs to include a boss key were the games of Friendlyware, an early 1980s game company. While in their games users could press the F10 key to swap out the game interface with a generic spreadsheet and graph interface.

Since then, the boss key has evolved and now computers can be configured to switch to a legitimate application, minimize and lock the offending application, flip to an alternate desktop, and perform other more sophisticated tasks. It’s even possible to purchase a peripheral foot pedal so the triggering of the boss key can be concealed under the desk without any tell-tale leap to the keyboard to initiate the sequence.