Welcome to the world of Mac. Many people feel a little apprehensive when they first start using a Mac computer. The transition can be overwhelming with various features and operating systems. But don’t worry, we are here to guide you through one of the most basic, yet essential features – the function keys. Function keys help you navigate through your Mac with ease, making your life a lot simpler. So, let’s dive into the world of function keys on Mac.
Step 1: Understanding the function keys
The function keys are the 12 keys located at the top of your keyboard and are labelled F1 to F12. These keys can perform various tasks depending on the application you’re using. For instance, F1 may perform a different task in Safari than in Microsoft Word.
Step 2: Basic function keys
The first six function keys (F1 to F6) are the simplest. They perform basic tasks such as volume control, screen brightness control, and play/pause control.
Step 3: Advanced function keys
The remaining six function keys (F7 to F12) are more advanced and perform tasks such as skipping tracks, showing the desktop, and displaying Mission Control.
Step 4: Changing the default function key
If you don’t use the function keys often and want them to perform their basic tasks instead of the advanced tasks, you can change their default settings. Go to “System Preferences” and click on “Keyboard”. From there, select “Use F1, F2, etc. keys as standard function keys”.
Step 5: Command key + function keys
In conjunction with the Command key, function keys perform even more functions. Command+F1 shows/hides the dock, Command+F2 opens the apple menu, and so on.
Step 6: Control key + function keys
Control key along with the function keys can perform application-specific tasks. For instance, Control+F1 opens the same System Preferences panel that we went under Step 4.
Step 7: Shift key + function keys
Shift key + function keys can also perform different tasks. Shift+F1 turns down the volume, Shift+F2 turns up the brightness, etc.
Step 8: User-defined function keys
You can also set custom function keys for frequently used applications using third-party tools like BetterTouchTool.
Step 9: Function keys on the Touch Bar
If you have a newer MacBook Pro with the Touch Bar, it comes with a different set of function keys located on the Touch Bar.
Step 10: Function keys in Bootcamp
If you run Windows on your Mac through Bootcamp, the function keys’ functionality changes to that of a Windows laptop.
Step 11: Remapping function keys
You can remap the function keys to perform different tasks than the default ones using tools like Karabiner Elements or by editing the settings file.
Step 12: Restoring the function key defaults
If you’ve changed your function key settings and want to revert to the defaults, you can do that by going to “System Preferences” > “Keyboard” and selecting “Restore Defaults”.
That’s a wrap on the 12 steps for using the function keys on Mac. The first six steps we discussed were the basics of function keys, while the remaining six are relatively more advanced. Additionally, we also elaborated on using the function keys with different keys like control or command. Along with that, customizing function keys for frequently used applications, using function keys on the touch bar, and remapping function keys were also discussed. Lastly, restoring the function key defaults was the cherry on top.
Tips & Tricks
1. Use BetterTouchTool
Third-party tools like BetterTouchTool simplify the customization of function keys. It allows you to assign different tasks to one key depending on the application in use.
2. Use the Function (Fn) Key
By pressing the “Fn” key and the Function keys, you can access their respective basic functions.
3. Combination of keys
Combining function keys with Command, Option, Shift and Control keys opens a whole new set of shortcuts.
4. Use Function Keys on Microsoft Applications
If you are using Microsoft Office on a Mac, command key + F1 opens up the Help menu on Microsoft applications.
5. Function Key Shortcuts in Adobe Applications
Function keys in Adobe applications like Photoshop, Illustrator or InDesign can perform various tasks like switching grids or activating selection tools.
6. Use the Touch Bar
MacBook Pro users with a Touch Bar can customize the buttons to suit their needs for different applications.
7. Use Function Keys on Safari
Function keys on Safari behaves differently than on other applications. For instance, Command+F3 closes the Safari Sidebar.
8. Function Keys in Chrome Browser
Control+F5 reloads a web page in the Chrome browser. Similarly, other function keys can also perform various tasks on Chrome.
9. Remap Function Keys for Gaming
Use Karabiner Elements or any other similar tool to remap function keys for gaming for better in-game controls.
10. Use Function Keys For Screen Recording
For screen recording purposes, function key F11 or F12 can be used to start or stop recording on various applications like QuickTime.
In conclusion, function keys on Mac can be used to perform various tasks. We hope this guide helps you navigate through your Mac with ease. Don’t be afraid to customize them and experiment with different key combinations to see what works for you. Happy function keying!
Advantages and Disadvantages: How to Use Function Keys on a Mac
1. Quick access to commonly used functions: The function keys on a Mac keyboard allow users to quickly access various functions such as adjusting screen brightness, controlling volume, opening search and more.
2. Productivity: By learning to use function keys on a Mac, users can save time and be more productive when performing day to day tasks.
3. Customization: Mac users can easily customize the function keys to launch their favorite apps, tools, and shortcuts for even faster access to their most-used functions.
4. Accessibility: Some individuals with disabilities benefit from using function keys as an alternative way to access the computer features.
5. Simplified workflow: Those who use function keys regularly suggest they help to simplify their workflow – making navigation and tasks quicker and lessens reliance on the mouse and trackpad.
1. Learning curve: Some users may find it difficult to learn how to use function keys, especially considering the default actions for the keys can vary depending on the applications being used.
2. Limited use: Users who primarily use their Mac for browsing and simple tasks might not find many benefits from using function keys.
3. Inconsistent: Different brands and models of Macs have different layouts for function keys, which can be confusing, especially when going back and forth between different devices.
4. Keyboard Shortcuts: Especially for those who are used to keyboard shortcuts, the process of pressing a function key in combination with another key might feel awkward and slow at first.
5. Accessibility: Although function keys can help some individuals with disabilities, others may not benefit from using them, as the keys require an additional step besides simply pressing a key, unlike touch screens or touchpads.
1. What are function keys on a Mac?
Function keys are the keys on the top row of your Mac keyboard that have special functions assigned to them. They are usually labeled F1 through F12 and can perform different tasks depending on the application you’re using.
2. How do I activate function keys on a Mac?
You can activate function keys on a Mac by pressing the “fn” key along with the function key you want to use. Alternatively, you can also go to System Preferences > Keyboard and tick the box that says “Use F1, F2, etc. keys as standard function keys.”
3. What is the function of the F1 key on a Mac?
The F1 key on a Mac is usually used for reducing screen brightness.
4. What is the function of the F2 key on a Mac?
The F2 key on a Mac is usually used for increasing screen brightness.
5. What is the function of the F3 key on a Mac?
The F3 key on a Mac is usually used for displaying Mission Control.
6. What is the function of the F4 key on a Mac?
The F4 key on a Mac is usually used for displaying Launchpad.
7. What is the function of the F5 key on a Mac?
The F5 key on a Mac is usually used for dimming the keyboard backlight (if applicable).
8. What is the function of the F6 key on a Mac?
The F6 key on a Mac is usually used for brightening the keyboard backlight (if applicable).
9. What is the function of the F7 key on a Mac?
The F7 key on a Mac is usually used for playing or pausing media.
10. What is the function of the F8 key on a Mac?
The F8 key on a Mac is usually used for skipping to the next track or chapter.
11. What is the function of the F9 key on a Mac?
The F9 key on a Mac is usually used for rewinding media.
12. What is the function of the F10 key on a Mac?
The F10 key on a Mac is usually used for muting the volume.
13. What is the function of the F11 key on a Mac?
The F11 key on a Mac is usually used for lowering the volume.
How to Use Function Keys on Mac
Mac computers come with function keys that are designed to perform specific tasks. These keys are labeled F1 to F12 and can be found at the top of the keyboard. They can be used to perform a range of functions, from adjusting screen brightness to controlling sound volume. In this article, we will walk you through how to use function keys on Mac.
Conclusion and Closing
Using function keys on Mac is easy and can make your computing experience more efficient. By following the steps we have outlined in this article, you can quickly learn how to use these keys to perform a variety of tasks. Whether you are adjusting your screen brightness or controlling your sound volume, function keys are a powerful tool that can help you get more done in less time.
So, the next time you are using your Mac, don’t forget to take advantage of these powerful keys. With a little practice, you can become a master of the function keys and take your computing experience to the next level. Good luck and happy computing!
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Until next time, take care and happy computing!