Mac OS X - KeyMap Function Keys

hey all,
I am using Intellij IDEA 13 on Mac OS X and with the latest MacBook Pro.

How do I use the Keymappings correctly? For example, Run is on Shift+F10 but all it does is activate/deactivate the sound.
How do I tell Mac OS or the programm to use the correct keymapping just for the active application?

best regards


That's in the System Preferences -> Keyboard
The setting is called "Use all F1, F2, etc. as standard function keys."


By default, Mac function keys control hardware functions, e.g., mute, display brightness, etc. If you want to use them as actual function keys, you hold down the 'fn' key, e.g., 'fn-F10' to output the function key. Most Mac software doesn't use function keys for anything so this default usually works just fine. But if you're a software developer you tend to use cross-platform software that assumes the function keys are fair game for keystrokes. That's not just IntelliJ, that's all kinds of software.

As the other poster already mentioned, there's a system setting that lets you flip how the function keys work. Once you activate that setting, pressing the function key outputs the function key value and you no longer get the hardware controls by default. To use the hardware controls you use the 'fn' key. On my keyboard, with the function key setting flipped, 'fn-F10' mutes the volume. That works well for me since I rarely use the function keys to control hardware but often use them to output function key values.


@Maarten Hazewinkel
@Charles Wise

To both of you, thank you very much!
What a shame I never came to the idea to check the keyboard preferences or to use the FN key! I am new to MAC and thought it is a what they call "feature" that there are "Function Keys" (haha^^)

But I am used to it so I changed the settings and rely on using FN+ for Hardware-Functions...

Thanks! I am happy now :-)

best regards


as @Charles Wise already commented above you have to make the change at the system level.

On my MacBook Pro - you go into System Preferences - Keyboard and then select the check-box for,

"Use F1, F2, etc, keys as standard function keys on external keyboards. when this option is selected, ....." 

When I went back into Intellij I could use the FN keys to debug my code.... F8 to step into etc....

To use the Function keys on the top of the keyboard now to control say volume you need to press "fn" plus the function key i.e F12 to increase volume... on the magic keyboard with numeric keyboard you can find the "fn" key in the middle block of keys between the alphabet and numeric keypads.


Please sign in to leave a comment.