Saturday, May 8, 2010

Some key combinations in MacBook Pro (Snow Leopard)

One of the inconveniences I experienced when first switching to a MacBook Pro running Mac OS X (Snow Leopard) was its missing of the PgUp, PgDn, Home and End keys. Over the past few months, I have learned that the functionality of such 'convenience' keys can be achieved via a combination of the arrow-keys (bottom right), with the 'fn', 'option', or 'command' keys (bottom left), as follows:
  • fn + right-arrow – end of a document
  • fn + left-arrow – beginning of a document
  • fn + up-arrow – Page up
  • fn + down-arrow – Page down
  • command + right-arrow – beginning of a line (Home)
  • command + left-arrow – end of a line (End)
  • option + right-arrow – one word to the right
  • option + left-arrow – one word to the left
According to Wikipedia, the 'fn' key "is a modifier key on many keyboards, especially on laptops, used in a compact layout to combine keys which are usually kept separate."

In addition to modifying cursor movements as noted above, the 'fn' key in Mac OS X can also be used to switch the default functionalities of F1 to F12 (e.g., F1 and F2 for screen brightness control) to the standard function keys. As an example, in MS Word, the keyboard shortcut for toggling case is "shift + f3", a trick I recently learned. In the default setting, one must press "fn + shift + f3" to achieve the desired effect.

Any tricks to share? I'd like to hear them!