I use computers a lot and, back in the day, did more than just the normal writing and some spreadsheet stuff I do now. But, as it happens, I eventually just did things the way I first got used to doing them and, even if there may have been better ways, I may never have gotten into them. Which brings me to the function keys on the Mac. What use I did have for them was always limited to the standard stuff on the key caps (change screen brightness, etc). I don’t recall ever using them as standard function keys.
But now with the TB I want to see what I can do with them - and simplify them. By simplify, I mean I may just leave some out and consolidate the rest. From what I’ve read, regular function keys are used with programs like Excel - though even when I was a heavy Excel user, I either didn’t use them or did so rarely. Seems to me that F2 was some sort of “save”.
Anyway, looking at the TB, one issue with function keys is that the standard setup means you need a sticky key approach to hit some of them. I’ve been thinking of bypassing that. Also considering putting them all on one function layer. But to properly sort this out, I need to know more to avoid creating problems. Here is my basic chart, with two situations. If something in parenthesis, it means that is that the standard Apple keyboard is supposed to do but the TB does not. If not in parenthesis, it is the results I get with the TB.
Probably oversimplified as it may be different with different apps - more reason to ask things here! And none of this deals with using modifiers to F keys so I’ll need help there too!
Function keys (in parenthesis is what Apple keyboard does)
F1 (dim screen)
F2 (brighten screen)
F3 (show all open windows - I think)
F4 (show open windows for selected app - I think)
F5 brings up word list only in text edit? [CAN ANYONE EXPLAIN WHAT THIS IS?]
F9 shows all windows (Fast forward)
F10 shows window for active app and recent app list (Mute)
F11 shows desktop (Volume down)
F12 (Volume up)
F14 dim screen
F15 brighten screen
Some things can’t (I think) be done with function keys on the TB, but can be done with special commands you can apply. Or in some cases using other function keys (like F14 to dim the screen because F1 won’t do it on TB and I can use the TB command for increasing volume instead of F12). At least I can if it doesn’t cause a problem when using modifiers or a problem in specific apps.
To give some idea of what I’m thinking about, supposed it worked out that I NEVER needed F16 through F20 - I could put the 15 that I do use all on the left blade, 5 per row, thus avoiding the need for sticky keys.
I guess that I really need is one big chart that shows all the Apple functions, including ones with modifier keys that are global and then additional information about things that are not global, but specific to certain situations or applications.
BTW, I also have BetterTouchTool which I use with my track pad, but I see it can do keyboard stuff to - so that may give me more options in what I can do.