11 Replies Latest reply: Sep 18, 2011 1:29 PM by hotwheels 22
hotwheels 22 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

Hi All.

 

I have a relatively new macbookpro and notice that the F keys have little icons on them. I've started to use these utilities and now notice that my mac pro keyboard does not have these and I'm wondering if I can "map" the macpro keyboard to behave like the macbookpro. is this possible?

 

thanks.


macbookpro and macpro, Mac OS X (10.6.6), parallels VM
  • Network 23 Level 6 Level 6 (11,870 points)

    You can remap keyboard shortcuts for most of those. They're listed under the Keyboard Shortcuts tab in the Keyboard system preference.

  • hotwheels 22 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi. Thank you very much.

     

    I think I see on the Keyboard Tab that there is a "Use all F1, F2 etc keys as standard function keys: When this option is selected, press the Fn key to use the special features printed on each key.". If I check this it looks like it will make the MBPro keyboard behave the same way as my MacPro keyboard perhaps?

     

    Do you know what these keys will do if I check this option and hit them /without/ pressing Fn? I mean, this means they do nothing and they only work if I hit the Fn key at the same time?

     

    ALSO. Do you know how to use the Keyboard Shortcuts Section? I've only been in here long enough to see "Dashboard and Dock", "Expose and Spaces", "Front Row" etc, etc and it seems like there is simply a list to the right of each when they are selected and you can check or uncheck these? I have them all checked, does this make sense?

  • Network 23 Level 6 Level 6 (11,870 points)

    hotwheels 22 wrote:

     

    I think I see on the Keyboard Tab that there is a "Use all F1, F2 etc keys as standard function keys: When this option is selected, press the Fn key to use the special features printed on each key.". If I check this it looks like it will make the MBPro keyboard behave the same way as my MacPro keyboard perhaps?

    No. What that option is for, is if you have apps that use the Function (F) keys in the traditional way. Traditionally, F keys were used as shortcuts, this practice goes back at least 30 years. For example, I use Lightroom, which lets me use the F5, F6, F7, and F8 keys as shortcuts for showing or hiding various panels. I do that all the time, so that option lets F5 apply to that app instead of changing my keyboard brightness, which I adjust rarely.

     

    Another example is if you run Windows on your Mac in virtualization, you might want F1 to open Help and F4 to close apps. Or if you would rather use F5 for refreshing the browser window (the standard refresh shortcut in every Web browser known to civilization...except Safari).

     

    Sometimes, you want some of the Function keys to do what's printed on them, but you want other keys to be used by an app. For that, you can use FunctionFlip (free) to make just some F keys behave the other way.

     

    hotwheels 22 wrote:

     

    Do you know what these keys will do if I check this option and hit them /without/ pressing Fn? I mean, this means they do nothing and they only work if I hit the Fn key at the same time?

    If you don't press Fn, the keys become controlled by the current application. For example. If you turn on the "Use all F1, F2 keys as standard function keys..." and you are using Firefox and you press F5, F5 will refresh the browser window, not change the Mac setting printed on it. If the current application does not use F5 for anything, it will do nothing.

     

    Pressing Fn merely swaps whatever happens when the preference is on and off. If you turned the pref on so that F5 refreshes the window in Firefox, but at the moment you would rather make it change keyboard brightness (that's what's printed on my F5 key), you press Fn+F5 and it will temporarily override the preference and use the other function just that one time. Or, of course, if you turned the pref off so that F5 changes keyboard brightness but you want to refresh a Firefox window with F5, again you would press Fn+F5, but since the preference is off, Fn+F5 now does the opposite thing.

    hotwheels 22 wrote:

     

    ALSO. Do you know how to use the Keyboard Shortcuts Section? I've only been in here long enough to see "Dashboard and Dock", "Expose and Spaces", "Front Row" etc, etc and it seems like there is simply a list to the right of each when they are selected and you can check or uncheck these? I have them all checked, does this make sense?

     

    Double-click a listed key shortcut on the right and it will highlight. While highlighted, you can press a different key and it will change the shortcut. For more info:

    http://support.apple.com/kb/ht2490#l4

     

    Not everything can be reassigned in there. If it won't let you remap something you want to remap, you might have to use other keyboard shortcut software to do it, like QuicKeys.

  • hotwheels 22 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Oh man. Thank you. This is such a relief and so clear. Thanks.

     

    Do you mind if I follow up?

     

    I think if I am following you that allowing the Fn to "trigger" the "old" Function Key behavior is the first need that I have. It sound to me like this will let these keys behave in the manner that my Windows software expects and that otherwise it won't. Again if I follow you holding down the Fn key before using the Function Keys will /also/ let me use the little images on the MacBook Pro keyboard (Expose, Dashboard, Sound up or down etc).

     

    I realise though that I have another question here and I may have missed the answer. Also thanks for the tip on QuicKeys I will check this out at some point. Anyway, I see I DON'T have a Fn key on my MacPro keyboard? I've been meaning to figure out how I trigger Dashboard on my MacPro (to get to Time Machine Widget) and I realize I don't understand this. I mean, I am specifically trying to set these two machines up in the same way and it is a bit aggravating to realize I don't know how to get to Widgets on the MacPro.

     

    Thanks a ton for a great help and a great explanation...

     

    - Jon

  • Network 23 Level 6 Level 6 (11,870 points)

    hotwheels 22 wrote:

     

    Anyway, I see I DON'T have a Fn key on my MacPro keyboard?

    On the keyboards I'm familiar with, on the short desktop keyboard, wireless Bluetooth keyboard, and on the laptops as you probably already know, the Fn key is at the lower left corner. If you are using an extended Apple keyboard, the Fn key is to the right, in the key group above the arrow keys, between the main keyboard and the numeric keypad.

  • hotwheels 22 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    thanks again.

     

    yeah, this is weird. I am using the keyboard that came with the computer.

     

    http://www.instructables.com/id/Mac-Keyboard-Clean/

     

    Three keys in the lower left hand corner is "control", "option (alt)" and Apple Symbol/Command Symbol respectively.

     

    ALSO, F3 on my MacBook Pro is Expose and F10 on my MacBook Pro is Mute - - - /should/ I expect to get the same functionality out of the Mac Pro keyboard assuming I have the Function Setting checked or unchecked in the same manner? I mean, I hit Fn on the MacBook Pro and F10 and I Mute - should this same thing happen on the Mac Pro provided I can find an Fn Key?

     

    Thanks!

  • Network 23 Level 6 Level 6 (11,870 points)

    oh....THAT keyboard. OK. I got one with my Mac Pro too a while back, but because I didn't like the key action at all, I replaced it a while ago with the new flat version which I love. The problems you are running into are not your fault, it's just an older keyboard. I think the only "hardware keys" on that keyboard are the volume controls on the far right top corner, and I do not think they can be reassigned on that keyboard (I could be wrong). As far as the software features like Expose etc, you should still be able to reassign those with the Keyboard Shortcuts preference.

     

    This keyboard appears to be from before Apple put a Fn key on them, so I don't think the key functions can be toggled on the fly, but again maybe someone else knows better. On the newer keyboards, Fn is where the Help button is. I don't know, it might be worth testing to see if your version of OS X actually uses that Help key as a Fn key.

     

    hotwheels 22 wrote:

     

    ALSO, F3 on my MacBook Pro is Expose and F10 on my MacBook Pro is Mute - - - /should/ I expect to get the same functionality out of the Mac Pro keyboard

    I don't think you assume that, because over the years Apple has moved around where the symbols are on the top row, so they're on different keys on different keyboard versions. That makes it totally unclear which symbol order OS X would assume for a keyboard like yours that has no top row symbols at all. The safest thing to do is just map the features to the function keys yourself. Maybe first you could press all the top row keys to see what they do, then change the ones you don't like.

     

    Overall, the fact that it's an older keyboard with no symbols makes the whole situation cloudier.

  • hotwheels 22 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Ay Yi. Help key is the function key!

     

    Boy, I have to say two things. First, I bought a macbookpro a year and a half ago and began porting everything over to mac with parallels on both machines and I have to say it has been a real bear. To get this far and then finally set down to figure out something like this is pretty amazing for me.

     

    That said, Man - I cannot thank you enough for clearing this all up. Your explanations have been just super clear and super helpful. So a big thanks.

     

    I think I can experiment from here on out but man that was weird to finally dig out and find I had to solve this as well...

     

    Cheers and thanks!

  • hotwheels 22 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi. Can you point me to what you are using for a keyboard? I too find the action a little funky but have learned to love and live with it. However if I can find something with better action and the same mapping as my MBP I may spring for that and one of those little 49 dollar swiper deals so I am totally 1:1 on these things. Parallels is enough of a beast to have to work around...

  • Network 23 Level 6 Level 6 (11,870 points)

    I'm using the current Apple Extended Keyboard with Numeric Keypad.

    http://store.apple.com/us/product/MB110LL/B?fnode=MTY1NDA1Mg

     

    The thing about this keyboard is that it is a low profile design, much like the current Apple laptops. If you have spent most of your life typing on laptops, it will seem natural. But, if you are one of the people whose favorite keyboard was the IBM-style full desktop keyboard with the deep travel and the click, the current Apple ones just seem wrong. I've used the MacBook Pros long enough that I like typing quietly on a slim keyboard now.

     

    My problem with the Apple white keyboard with the clear base was that some keys would briefly stick on the way up, which drove me nuts and I couldn't type fast.

  • hotwheels 22 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks a ton!

     

    Regards.