Take back control of your Mac Function Keys!

Mac Technical Support
If you're like me, you like having the default hardware/software control actions that Apple assigns to their function keys for most day-to-day usage, but you're forced to swap them for regular F-key behavior when you run WoW. You either live with having to use fn + whatever key to make your Apple commands work, or you end up having to switch the setting back and forth constantly.

Well there's a solution: KeyRemap4MacBook (http://pqrs.org/macosx/keyremap4macbook).

This tool does a ton of useful things for your keyboards. As far as this thread goes, the important thing it does is keep your default Apple behaviors active at all times --until you're in WoW. In WoW, it switches your function keys to work as standard F-Keys!

Don't let the name fool you, it works on any modern Mac, not just the laptops.

Below are the special instructions for WoW users.

The author of this utility created a special update (v7.0.21) of the software for WoW users, so you MUST download the version linked in the instructions below, and not the one available from the home page!

I've been running this utility for a few weeks now with no issues.

To use your F9-F12 keys, you still must deactivate the Expose F-Key settings in System Preferences. If you're using the default apple behaviors, then you were using these keys for itunes/volume control, and not Expose anyway. Map Expose behaviors to screen corners instead.


(1) Install KeyRemap4MacBook-7.0.21

(2) Edit private.xml so it looks like this:
<?xml version="1.0"?>
<name>My F-Keys (F1-F12) to Functional</name>
<appendix>(Except in WOW)</appendix>
<appendix>You need to use all F1, F2, etc. keys as standard function keys.</appendix>
<appendix>Open Keyboard PreferencePane, and enable it.</appendix>
<autogen>--KeyToConsumer-- KeyCode::F1, ConsumerKeyCode::BRIGHTNESS_DOWN</autogen>
<autogen>--KeyToConsumer-- KeyCode::F2, ConsumerKeyCode::BRIGHTNESS_UP</autogen>
<autogen>--KeyToKey-- KeyCode::F3, KeyCode::EXPOSE_ALL</autogen>
<autogen>--KeyToKey-- KeyCode::F4, KeyCode::DASHBOARD</autogen>
<autogen>--KeyToConsumer-- KeyCode::F5, ConsumerKeyCode::KEYBOARDLIGHT_LOW</autogen>
<autogen>--KeyToConsumer-- KeyCode::F6, ConsumerKeyCode::KEYBOARDLIGHT_HIGH</autogen>
<autogen>--KeyToConsumer-- KeyCode::F7, ConsumerKeyCode::MUSIC_PREV</autogen>
<autogen>--KeyToConsumer-- KeyCode::F8, ConsumerKeyCode::MUSIC_PLAY</autogen>
<autogen>--KeyToConsumer-- KeyCode::F9, ConsumerKeyCode::MUSIC_NEXT</autogen>
<autogen>--KeyToConsumer-- KeyCode::F10, ConsumerKeyCode::VOLUME_MUTE</autogen>
<autogen>--KeyToConsumer-- KeyCode::F11, ConsumerKeyCode::VOLUME_DOWN</autogen>
<autogen>--KeyToConsumer-- KeyCode::F12, ConsumerKeyCode::VOLUME_UP</autogen>


(3) How to edit private.xml:



These instructions are also available on the KeyRemap homepage, within the comments, but you have to click on the "Show all comments" button to see them.

Also, the author, Takayama Fumihiko, is very responsive to people who post comments and requests on his page, and he's asked if there are any other apps other than WoW where this behavior would be desirable. Feel free to chime in with your requests.
Just so folks know, this seems to work on ANY Mac, not just Macbooks!

Cazmasar...I love you and I want to have your babies. I've been hunting around for a program that can redo key mappings in OS X. I'm using an old ADB keyboard with an adapter (they don't make 'em like they used to!) and I've missed the volume up/down/mute keys. I was only able to find one program that could do it, and it hadn't been updated in years and wasn't quite reliable. This one has a preset for mapping volume up/down/mute to the F13/14/15 keys that works wonderfully, and that's exactly what I wanted. I can FINALLY adjust my volume again without grabbing the remote and pointing at the receiver under my desk!

Awesome! Glad it helped :)
Great advice Cazmasar. For those of us with a Mac laptop this is an absolute life saver. I followed your instructions using the most current version of KeyRemap4MacBook (as of today) and have had no problems.
Thank god for this. Thank you so much.
Another option that I've been using for a long time now is called "Paula" via the AppStore for 99¢. It has a function called SmartMode whereby you assign the applications you'd like to use the F-keys like normal (WoW, SC2, Citrix, etc.) and everything else will use the default Apple mappings like volume, brightness, etc.

I guess the difference is that it costs a buck, but the setup appears to be much simpler.

Source to the AppStore: https://itunes.apple.com/ca/app/palua/id431494195?mt=12
Last: Then hit reload XML and check the new option box for changing the function keys in WoW.
Thank you. Thank you! I am going to try this out.

Deserving of a sticky, this is!

I took some time away from WoW since this was posted. Now I'm back with a new Macbook and was searching for a way to deal with the problem (I couldn't remember the original software, I wasn't sure it would even still work) and lo and behold the internet search brought me here.

I'm definitely going to look into Palua... looks like it's somewhat less feature-rich than KeyRemap4MacBook, but simple and streamlined.

So glad I posted this because now it's helped me! ha!

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