How to: Option+F8 as a shortcut? (F keys)

Can’t figure this out. I want to assign shortcuts like Control+F1, Option+F1 etc.

To press a function key and have it go through as a function key (rather than a special action key, like play/pause or volume up), you have to press the fn key as well. So ⌥F8 is actually fn⌥F8.

You can toggle the meaning of the Fn key in the Keyboard system preferences.

You can set a hot key to any key (except modifiers, Caps Lock, the Fn key and some special keys like Eject or Power) together with any modifiers (Shift, Command, Control, Option - but not caps lock or Fn). You do so by adding a hot key trigger, and then clicking on it so it is lit up blue, and then pressing the key combination.

If the key is not registered when you press it, try just “A”. If this works, then the previous key combination was not valid for some reason (feel free to ask about that). Make sure you immediately clear the hot key, otherwise your “A” key will stop working and you’ll be very confused.

If you can’t set the hot key even to just an “A”, then either Secure Input Mode is on or Accessibility permissions are not enabled for Keyboard Maestro and Keyboard Maestro Engine.

Peter I am a little unclear on the process. I wanted to use Fn + K for a macro so from what you are explaining I can’t do that. So I hit “K” and then clicked on the “K” under ‘this hotkey’ and chose
Fn + Control + K. It does give me the result ’ ^k ’ so are my only options to use Control, Option, or Command and any combination of those key choices? My quest is to seek out combinations which are global and guaranteed not to be used in any program.

Also speaking of combinations which aren’t used in any other programs is there some place current program keyboard shortcuts that are currently active on my system can be listed using a utility or grep AND also highlight conflicts?

Lets be clear on this. The Fn key is a key mostly only on MacBooks that acts as a hardware toggle on the function keys, and toggles them between function keys (F1, F2, etc) and hardware keys (volume up/down, brightness up/down, etc).

The Fn key is not a modifier. It is not like Shift or Control. The is no such thing as Fn-K - Fn-K is just K. The Fn key only operates on the function keys (and sometimes a few other keys like Page Up/Down). And it does not operate as a modifier, it changes the key.

You can toggle the Fn key’s behaviour in the System Preferences, Keyboard preferences. That just toggles the meaning of F1 and Fn-F1, which one is the function key and which one is the hardware key.

Thanks Peter. I wasn’t thinking about that and as such it’s probably not the shortcut I want to use since I want it available on another desktop. :wink:

The main goal is to have combinations which are not going to overlap any system or application shortcuts. I do however want to avoid always using (e.g.) COMMAND+OPTION+CONTROL+SHIFT in every instance just to make sure I am not stepping on another commands toes.

I went ahead and used CONTROL+K in this instance because I don’t think anything is using it and it’s working so I suppose I will see how that goes.

I have faced the same challenge and have found, at least for the apps I use, that very few of them use CTRL (SnagIT being the exception). So, using CTRL, alone or in combination with the other modifier keys, has worked well for me.

The nice thing about KM is that its hotkey will override an apps shortcut key. So even if an app has that shortcut key, if you’re not using it and don’t plan to, then the KM hotkey will work fine.


Thanks. I use several CTRL shortcuts in Nano but I suppose I can disable them in Nano/Terminal.

That’s a very good observation and will probably save me when I run out of possible hotkey combinations. I have lots of shortcuts keyed to the chorded CTRL-OPT-CMD modifier, and have already remapped my capslock to a HYPER key, but am always worried about running out of triggers.