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OS X El Capitan: The Missing Manual by David Pogue

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The Mac Keyboard

All through this book, you’ll find references to certain keys on Apple’s keyboards. “Hold down the key,” you might read, or “Press Control-F2.” If you’re coming from Mac OS 9, from Windows, or even from a typewriter, you might be a bit befuddled. (The reader email generated by previous editions of this book made that quite clear. “The alphabet has 26 letters,” one went. “Why do I need 101 keys?”)

To make any attempt at an explanation even more complicated, Apple’s keyboards keep changing. The one you’re using right now is probably one of these models:

  • The current keyboards, where the keys are flat little jobbers that poke up through square holes in the aluminum (Figure 6-1). That’s what you get on current laptops, wired keyboards, and Bluetooth wireless keyboards.

    On the top row of aluminum Mac keyboards, the F-keys have dual functions. Ordinarily, the F1 through F4 keys correspond to Screen Dimmer (), Screen Brighter (), Mission Control (), and either Dashboard () or Launchpad (). Pressing the fn key in the lower-left corner changes their personalities.

    Figure 6-1. On the top row of aluminum Mac keyboards, the F-keys have dual functions. Ordinarily, the F1 through F4 keys correspond to Screen Dimmer (), Screen Brighter (), Mission Control (), and either Dashboard ...

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