Does Mac OS X, and any Mac application, handles Fn+Enter differently from Enter?
As optional question, does any application handles Fn+Return differently from Return?

4 Answers 4


I guess since fn+return equals enter, the fn+enter-combination would equal fn+fn+return which does not make much sense, so my vote is: no, there is no app that can receive this combo.

To prove, you'll need to read the key codes sent from keyboard to the system when it´s pressed (ie. Full Key Codes could do this for you) - since I don´t have a keyboard with a physical enter I unfortunately can´t do that.

  • 1
    I apologize. I have the standard keyboard, which uses two different symbol for the Enter/Return key (one of those symbols is "⌅", the Unicode Projective character); it seems I said Enter when I should have said Return.
    – apaderno
    Feb 19, 2011 at 12:40
  • Well fn+enter will probably do nothing while fn+return==enter does make a difference. In iTunes, for example, pressing enter on a highlited song will let you change a its name, while return will start playing it. In fact, there are many other apps who recognize this difference, maybe we don´t need to list them all? ;-)
    – Asmus
    Feb 19, 2011 at 20:35
  • Sorry to revive this really old question & answer, but is the “Enter” key that is present on the full size keyboard on the numeric keypad an actual “enter” key, or is it the same as the return key on a Mac? if the former is true, then does pressing fn-enter do the same thing as the return key? Nov 6, 2017 at 21:56
  • @user3052786 Yes, those two keys are indeed different; while fn+ is equal to , fn+ is however not equal to . Note that in many applications, both keys produce identical results when pressed.
    – Asmus
    Nov 7, 2017 at 7:04
  • Ah I see. I guess there wouldn’t be any reason to use fn+ instead of return. Thanks for the clarification. Nov 16, 2017 at 23:53

Does any application handle Fn+Return differently from Return?

Yes! In iTunes 10.5, Return will make a highlighted song start playing but Fn+Return will allow you to rename the song. This was revealed to me at How can I rename a song in iTunes with a keyboard shortcut?


This is not hard to find out.

Open vim and enter insert mode

( Note: I just hit 'j' several times to move the cursor. Why must I live like this? Vim mode! Just did it again.)

Hit control-v

Hit your keystroke combo

Observe the char printed


check if printed char is different

if yes then they are different

if no , such as <Tab> and <Shift-Tab> on the console, then they are not different.

EDIT: Some background:


Insert next non-digit literally. For special keys, the terminal code is inserted. It's also possible to enter the decimal, octal or hexadecimal value of a character


The characters typed right after CTRL-V are not considered for mapping.

{Vi: no decimal byte entry}

Note: When CTRL-V is mapped (e.g., to paste text) you can often use CTRL-Q instead


I tried this in my terminal.

ControlVEnter gave me ^M

ControlVFnEnter gave me ^C

So vim sees the two as different. They send different codes.

  • Heh, "not hard." For the uninitiated, as I was until googling this through, I'll add some starting steps: Launch Terminal, type vim and Return, type i. Now you're in insert mode. After that, however, I have no idea. Control-v doesn't appear to do anything, and Return appears to enter a carriage return while Enter does nothing. Feb 19, 2011 at 23:08
  • Yikes. You are correct. Editing.
    – chiggsy
    Feb 20, 2011 at 2:35

fn+Return is also recognized in Finder as the same way as iTunes. in fact, this combination is like if you do one click on a selected item to rename it. in Windows world, it is like F2 key.

  • 2
    In Finder, Enter, Return, fn + Enter, and fn + Return have all the same effect: rename the currently selected item.
    – apaderno
    May 9, 2014 at 16:15

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