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Or how about using the Launchpad key to bring up the emoji viewer, or a menu bar calendar of your choice? Accordingly, the F1 and F2 keys adjust the screen brightness, the F3 key triggers Mission Control, the F4 key opens Launchpad, and so on.

Turn your Mac function keys into shortcuts to work faster

To use the old-fashioned F-keys, you have to hold down the Fn key as a modifier. Of course, after you make this tweak, none of the function keys except F11 and F12 trigger any action. If you want to retain a few function keys as special keys and convert the rest into regular F-keys, install a suitable third-party app for it.

We recommend FunctionFlip. Once you install it, FunctionFlip shows up as a preference pane under System Preferences , and you can flip keys selectively from this pane.

To configure this action, locate the corresponding action via the sidebar menu in the settings pane we mentioned above. Next, select the checkbox for the action and hit the F10 key when the screen prompts you with a blank shortcut field. You might want to test the new shortcut to confirm that it toggles DnD properly. To begin, select App Shortcuts from the Shortcuts sidebar we referred to above.

The Dual Role of Function Keys

Then, click on the plus icon beneath the right-hand pane. Leave it alone unless you want the new function key shortcut to work only in a specific app. In the Menu Title field, type in the action exactly as it appears in the menu for the app. Next, move the focus to the Keyboard Shortcut field and hit the shortcut you want to use.

To wrap up, click on the Add button. The new shortcut is now in place.

Control features on your Mac

You might run into a few problems while remapping function keys, but there are workarounds for them:. Want to bring up your appointments quickly?

Try a calendar key to launch your calendar app. Feel free to trade this for a clipboard key or an email key. If you rely on Notification Center widgets a lot, create a Notification Center key. If you prefer Dashboard widgets instead, use the same shortcut to open the Dashboard. A word count key to run a macOS word counter script when you select text is another useful idea. You can make it work with similar functions provided by a third-party app like Dictater.


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A page reload key to refresh webpages on macOS with the same shortcut used on Windows F5 is useful if you switch between the two operating systems often. Our guide to the Services menu will tell you more about these special actions. If you run out of function keys to use, start using them with modifiers like Option and Cmd for more shortcuts.

How to fix MacBook Pro/Air keyboard not working keys - easy steps - problem fixed

To do this, open the "International" system preferences and in the "Input Menu" tab uncheck all but the desired keyboard layout. Toggle function key vs special features In the "Keyboard and Mouse" system preferences, uncheck the option to "Use all F1, F2, etc. Reapply the latest OS update For users who have experienced this problem directly after an update, and for whom the previous fixes do not work, it is recommended to reapply the latest Mac OS X update by downloading the "Combo" update from Apple's website and applying it when booted in Safe Mode hold shift during boot.

Use standard function keys

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How do I press the Fn key using a PC keyboard on a Mac? - Super User

Asked 9 years, 9 months ago. Active 29 days ago. Viewed 59k times. AlexMax AlexMax 4 4 gold badges 11 11 silver badges 21 21 bronze badges. This seems to be the closest thing to correct I've seen. There is no Fn modifier key as on the Mac keyboards. Note the F Lock comment: if you press "F Lock" the F keys simply do nothing - this solved my problem! The Fn key on mac keyboards is a hardware driven feature.

What are you trying to accomplish? Gaff Doug Harris Doug Harris As for The Fn key on mac keyboards is a hardware driven feature -- I was tempted to state that as well, but: the keyboard viewer in fact knows when this key is pressed. That made me think it's not that different from, say, the Shift key Changing F1,F2, Raystafarian Benjamin Schollnick Benjamin Schollnick 4, 12 12 silver badges 15 15 bronze badges.

Todua T. Todua 1, 3 3 gold badges 20 20 silver badges 31 31 bronze badges.