Thursday, April 28, 2011

Mac Keyboard Operation

One of the biggest things I miss about Windows, since largely transitioning to the Mac, is the lack of emphasis on keyboard operation.  I tend to be more productive the less I need to touch the mouse.  This post is for others who feel the same way.  (We may be a minority among Mac users).

It was particularly frustrating that I could not access the menu bar with keyboard shortcuts.  Well it turns out you can.  Control-F2 is your friend, it highlights the Apple menu at the top-left of your screen.  From there you can use arrow keys to move around the menus.  Better yet, if you can remember more shortcuts to execute the specific functions more power to you.  But at the very least just remember Control-F2.

This too did not come easily at first.  I Googled around and read about Control-F2 but it simply did not work.  I tried all kinds of things, including simultaneously pressing the fn key.

Anyway, it turned out that this (along with a bunch of other shortcuts) was disabled.  I have no idea when and how this happened, as they are default behaviour.  This was determined by taking a look in System Prefs > Keyboard > Keyboard Shortcuts.   Anywhoo, I restored the defaults by pressing (surprise surprise) the button Restore Defaults on that dialogue.

See the Apple Support site: Mac OS X keyboard shortcuts

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