Quickly toggle between standard and special F keys on OS X

By default OS X assigns special actions to F keys like

  • F1, F2: Brightness
  • F3, F4: Dock, Expose
  • And so on…

These are great when you’re browsing and consuming media but when you start working in IDEs and other applications with complex keyboard shortcuts I want the F keys to behave like standard F keys.

This behaviour can be changed easily under ‘Keyboard‘ in ‘System Preferences‘, but changing this frequently is annoying and time consuming.

I found an app called Paula that could do this but it wasn’t free and I thought that this would be something that would be easy to automate.  I spent a few minutes looking at AppleScript and pushed it to GitHub which is simple but does the trick for me. Maybe it’ll be good enough for you too.

Disclaimer: I only tested this on OS X 10.8.3 but it should be easy to adapt the script to work with other versions too.

4 thoughts on “Quickly toggle between standard and special F keys on OS X

  1. I tried it but nothing happened. First, double-clicking Script Menu.menu did nothing. Second, after I compiled and installed, I could not copy to ~/Library/Scripts/ because the directory did not exist. Finally, even after I created the directory and copied the compiled script, nothing happened. What exactly am I supposed to see and how is this menu plugin supposed to work?

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