Mac computers are known for their distinctive user-friendly interfaces and unique keyboard layouts. Although they are quite intelligent, they can also be slightly confusing to those who are new to the Apple ecosystem. One such point of confusion often revolves around the function keys, especially the F4 key. In this blog, we will guide you on how to use the F4 key on a Mac.
The F4 Key and Its Standard Function
On a standard keyboard, the F4 key can have multiple uses depending on the program being used. In Microsoft Office programs, for example, the F4 key is typically used for the “Repeat” command. On a Mac keyboard, however, the F4 key is usually designated to open the Dashboard or Launchpad.
Mac’s function keys, including F4, also serve as control keys for system features like brightness, volume, mission control, and media playback. They are denoted by the specific icons on each key.
How to Use the F4 Key as a Standard Function Key
If you need to use F4 in its standard function (for instance, using it in Microsoft Excel to repeat the last action), you will need to hold down the Fn (Function) key and then press F4. This will override the default Mac function linked to the F4 key.
Fn + F4
Enabling F4 for Standard Functions
If you regularly use the F4 key for its standard functions, it may be practical to change its default setting. Mac offers an option to use function keys (from F1 to F12) as standard function keys. To enable this, follow these steps:
- Go to System Preferences.
- Select Keyboard.
- Under the Keyboard tab, check the box that says, “Use F1, F2, etc. keys as standard function keys.”
System Preferences -> Keyboard -> Check "Use F1, F2, etc. keys as standard function keys"
With this setting in place, you will need to hold down the Fn key when you need to use system controls like brightness or volume.
Learning the specifics of your Mac keyboard can vastly improve your productivity and user experience. The F4 key, like other function keys, holds more power than you might initially expect. With the information provided here, you can now use the F4 key on your Mac effectively, regardless of your needs.