I'm using a program that uses the F4 key as an important shortcut which I use heavily.

Every time I want to press F4 on my MacBook Pro also have to press the fn button.

Is there a possibility (such as with an AppleScript?) that something could detect if I'm using that program and allow me to avoid pressing fn and let me use the shortcut just with the F4 key?

  • 1
    Have you tried going into "System Preferences > Keyboard" and checking the box next to "Use all F1, F2, etc keys as standard function keys"?
    – Mr Rabbit
    Jun 20, 2013 at 15:31

5 Answers 5


You could also use KeyRemap4MacBook:

<?xml version="1.0"?>
    <autogen>__KeyToKey__ KeyCode::LAUNCHPAD, KeyCode::F4</autogen>
    <autogen>__KeyToKey__ KeyCode::F4, KeyCode::LAUNCHPAD</autogen>

See the source for the key code values and predefined settings.

  • sorry but how can I insert this xml snippet?
    – nkint
    Jun 25, 2013 at 20:58
  • Save it as ~/Library/Application Support/KeyRemap4MacBook/private.xml, open KeyRemap4MacBook, press the Reload XML button, and select the checkbox for the setting.
    – Lri
    Jun 26, 2013 at 4:20
  • it does not work.. I think I am not able to specify the application.. it is "Qt Creator", and it is located in: /Applications/Qt\ Creator.app
    – nkint
    Jul 16, 2013 at 9:59
  • It worked for me when I changed the bundle identifier to org.qt-project.qtcreator. You could try disabling other applications or kernel extensions, or test if KeyCode::LAUNCHPAD is shown in EventViewer.app, or test if predefined settings like this work.
    – Lri
    Jul 16, 2013 at 10:17
  • holy god. thank you it works with org.qt-project.qtcreator identifier
    – nkint
    Jul 16, 2013 at 10:56


Palua lets you change all function keys for individual apps.

With Palua, you just need one click - or one hotkey - to toggle the mode your Fx keys are.

Palua Smart Mode


FunctionFlip can 'flip' certain function keys only instead of changing all keys, but it works for all apps.

FunctionFlip individually controls your MacBook or MacBook Pro's function keys, turning special keys back to regular F-keys, or vice-versa.


FunctionFlip's purpose is simply to disable the special features — rewind, play, mute, etc. — on the function keys. For example, if you "flip" F7, F8, and F9, those keys — only those keys — will revert back to normal F keys. Press the fn key with the special key to get the special function back. That is, the "special" and "normal" functions are flipped.


The "Use all F1..." method is probably the best way to go. It'll be mildly inconvenient in other applications, but it may make sense for your use case.


Very simple:

  1. Click Apple at the top left of the Mac Menu
  2. Click "System Preferences..."
  3. Select the Keyboard Icon
  4. Check the "Use all F1, F2, etc. keys as standard key functions".
  • 1
    This overrides all function keys at all times for every program, the OP really needs it just to work on F4, and even then just for that one App if possible
    – stuffe
    Apr 5, 2014 at 21:01

How about using the default Excel for Mac shortcut?

+ Y

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