A softkey is a key whose function changes depending on what screen, menu or other function you have selected. Most of the time in the entertainment industry we see softkeys on lighting desks, but they can be on any computer based controller. Softkeys are very similar in function to the "F" keys on a computer keyboard.

On an Express(ion) style console the softkeys are labeled S1-S8 and correspond to the functions listed in grey boxes at the bottom of the display. note how changing screens or starting to type commands may change the functions of the softkeys. This is of course compared to a hardkey which would be a key that serves only the function for which it is labeled.

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