Currently Being ModeratedAug 19, 2011 9:53 AM (in response to Angus Davis)
There are third party apps which allow you to reassign function keys. Try searching in Google
Currently Being ModeratedAug 19, 2011 10:03 AM (in response to Angus Davis)
If you hold fn and F9, does that work?
On my MBP fn-F12 opens Dashboard.
Currently Being ModeratedAug 19, 2011 10:12 AM (in response to Angus Davis)
You can set the function key for dashboard in Mission Control preferences - you just have to press the fn key AND the key you set. So set it to F4 since you are used to that (or f9 if you prefer), and then press fn f4.
Currently Being ModeratedAug 19, 2011 10:27 AM (in response to Angus Davis)
give us a screen shot of your mission control window. make F4 be your dashboard (it'll just work). When you change the f# shortcuts you'll need to hold fn and then f9 (just tried this out myself). But again, if you assign f4 to be dashboard, it'll just work without holding fn.
a solution might be to make dashboard into a hot coner.
you do this in system prefs, mission control, hot corners, then choose whichever one you want.
I know you said you don't like dashboard as a space, but you can set it to be a space and then have a gesture that brings up dashboard by swiping to the left.
There is also a third part option called better touch tool it's free and you can donate if you want. but in it, there are a whole list of actions that you can envoke with a gesture of your choice, dashboard being one of them.
you've got options.
Message was edited by: TheSmokeMonster
Currently Being ModeratedAug 19, 2011 10:24 AM (in response to TheSmokeMonster)
I did give a screen shot of my mission control window, here it is again:
As you see, I have set F9 to be the function key for dashboard. However, pressing F9 does nothing.
Pressing "Fn + F9" does trigger the dashboard, however this is not the preference I chose. I chose F9, not Fn + F9. There is a bug in the System Preferences, because if it says "F9" is assigned to Dashboard, it should do what it says.
The hot corners approach is what I am using as a workaround; it is easier than pressing Fn + F9. My goal is to simply press F9 (or some other single key) and access dashboard, and I remain open for suggestions to accomplish that. I also think Apple has a bug in their system preferences pane for these keyboard shortcuts.
Currently Being ModeratedAug 19, 2011 10:29 AM (in response to Angus Davis)
assign dashboard to be f4, it'll just work.
Currently Being ModeratedAug 19, 2011 10:36 AM (in response to TheSmokeMonster)
No, assigning Dashboard to F4 (and moving Mission Control to F9) does not work. Pressing F4 triggers Mission Control regardless of the settings in this dialog. That is why as I have noted, Apple has a bug with this preferences pane. The user assignments made in this preferences page do not work on hardware where the fuction keys have an icon on them, as is the case in late 2011-released Macbook Airs which assign icons to every single function key on the keyboard. In effect, it is impossible to use this preferences pane to make any function key assingments on late 2011 Macbook Airs.
Currently Being ModeratedAug 19, 2011 10:53 AM (in response to Angus Davis)
you want to click the function keys to be standard in keyboard preferences.
then go to the keyboard shortcuts and choose which key you want dashboard to be. you'll have to hit fn and the f4 or f9 after double clicking what it is set at now.
However! after this, you'll be able to just hit the f key of your choice without having to hold fn.
This will however make you have to hit the fn key to initiate the pictured functions for the f keys unless you set them how you want to.
Currently Being ModeratedAug 19, 2011 11:00 AM (in response to TheSmokeMonster)
Thanks, that would allow me to assign F4 or F9 to access the Dashboard.
However, it forces me to now press Fn+(F1, F2, whatever) in order to do things like increase / decrease volume, screen brightness, etc. I don't think it's worth it, as I frequently access those other functions by pressing a single key, and I do not want to lose that capability.
It would be nice if the preferences dialog that purports to allow the user to assign function keys like F9 to tasks like "Show Dashboard" actually worked. There is no way in a late-2011 Macbook Air to access Dashboard with a single key without giving up ability to access volume, brightness and other single key press functions.
Currently Being ModeratedAug 19, 2011 11:36 AM (in response to Angus Davis)
this isn't a bug, this is how it is supposed to work. somehow I made it so my bluetooth keyboard controls my backlit keyboard on my macbook pro but I can't seem to find how I changed that but I'm sure I did since it didn't work out of box. I might be wrong.
anyway. you have a hot corner now, and you have third party options.
Message was edited by: TheSmokeMonster http://kevingessner.com/software/functionflip/ directly address your issue http://www.macupdate.com/app/mac/32953/bettertouchtool
Currently Being ModeratedAug 19, 2011 11:50 AM (in response to TheSmokeMonster)
I am not aware of any third-party option that lets you over-ride the behavior of F9, but would love to hear about one.
...they do not actually work. That's a bug. The preferences panel should either 1) not let you select a function key that is already hard-coded to another function, or 2) it should honor the preferences selected on this screen.
Currently Being ModeratedAug 19, 2011 12:20 PM (in response to Angus Davis)
these work you just need to hit FN, did you miss where I give you the link to the third party solutions?
Currently Being ModeratedAug 19, 2011 1:11 PM (in response to TheSmokeMonster)
Currently Being ModeratedSep 30, 2012 11:01 AM (in response to Angus Davis)
on my MBA (mid 2012 model) running Lion I found that fn F12 opens Dashboard, and toggles it closed again.