Using F keys to launch apps

Discussion in 'Mac OS X 10.3 (Panther) Discussion' started by winwintoo, May 20, 2004.

  1. winwintoo macrumors 6502

    Nov 26, 2003
    In OS 9, you could assign an F key to launch an application or open a file. I can't find where to do that in OS X.

    Has this ability been dropped, or am I just not able to see it because I'm using an iBook at the moment?

    If anyone knows how to invoke this very useful ability, please let me know,

  2. wrldwzrd89 macrumors G5


    Jun 6, 2003
    Solon, OH
    There are two reasons I can think of why this ability isn't there - F9 through F11 are used for Expose by default, and users of iBooks/PowerBooks have to use the 'fn' key together with F1-F14 to use functions of those keys (this key is not found on any other Mac keyboard).
  3. winwintoo thread starter macrumors 6502

    Nov 26, 2003
    Thanks wrldwzrd89, I should have asked if the ability to set up function keys to launch apps is there on desktop Macs. I found where it looks like it might be possible but it seems to be disabled on my machine (iBook)

    We're buying Grandma a new iMac and we had her old one set up so she could just press a function key to get to her slot machine or email - teaching her new tricks is not always easy :D :D

    take care, Margaret
  4. HexMonkey Administrator


    Staff Member

    Feb 5, 2004
    New Zealand
    I don't think there's a built in way to do this, but there are several third party applications that will do it, for example Key Xing.
  5. 7on macrumors 601


    Nov 9, 2003
    Dress Rosa
    You can also put aliases in the Dock or on the desktop. I would think this would be easier than remembering F1 = Internet, because you could have a Safari alias on the desktop and name it Internet.
  6. winwintoo thread starter macrumors 6502

    Nov 26, 2003
    You've never seen Grandma try to move the mouse :D :D

    In OS9 we set up far apart F-keys - like F1, F5, F7, F9, F12 for her apps and put BIG stickers on them so she only needed to aim at one key to get the job done. It worked fine.

    I've found a couple of apps that seemed promising, but one was overkill and required too much attention, the other seemed to work, but wouldn't bring the whole app to the front, just whatever happened to be the frontmost window of the app and Grandma isn't savvy enough to figure out how to get to the rest of them.

    And don't you dare say a word about how an old foggie should learn better or something. There is a huge market for applications for older individuals and nobody is moving to fill it. There's a glut of applications for kids, and business apps galore, but none for older adults. What a shame.


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