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10.5: Use Fn keys to switch Spaces Apps
One of the things I missed most in Spaces is the ability to use F1, F2, ... to switch Spaces. One finger for me is much better than the two-finger options that are the only possibilities with Spaces.

I found a way around that by running You Control Desktops at the same time as Spaces. This is completely amazing, but both can run at the same time, and both seem to use similar mechanisms for switching. As a result, the keyboard shortcuts you set with You Control Desktops actually do work and will switch you between desktops.

Other little niceties: you get to pick other transitions; you get named desktops instead of just numbers ... all while having the nice Exposť-like feature designed by Apple. I am sure there must be some conflicts in some situations, but I have not run into any in the way I use virtual desktops.

[robg adds: I haven't tested this one.]
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10.5: Use Fn keys to switch Spaces | 9 comments | Create New Account
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10.5: Use Fn keys to switch Spaces
Authored by: CajunLuke on Nov 12, '07 10:16:53AM

This also works with Desktop Manager.

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10.5: Use Fn keys to switch Spaces
Authored by: 5chm31din6 on Nov 12, '07 12:08:38PM

I would love to know if there's a way to do this without any 3rd-party apps -- a .plist hack or something. Or with something I already have installed like Quicksilver (a plug-in perhaps).

Basically, it's not important enough to install another third-party app just to be able to press Fn keys instead of Arrows, IMHO.

Power corrupts. PowerPoint corrupts absolutely.

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10.5: Use Fn keys to switch Spaces
Authored by: avn on Nov 12, '07 02:05:25PM

You could always use control+1,2,etc.. to switch between desktops without need for additional software. And this is configurable to option+#, or command+# in the system prefs for spaces.

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10.5: Use Fn keys to switch Spaces
Authored by: mhmlco on Nov 12, '07 03:10:35PM

This is also less than useful on notebooks and the new superslim aluminum Apple keyboards where the function keys are typically reassigned to handle brightness, sound levels, and other "computer-control" functions.

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10.5: Use Fn keys to switch Spaces
Authored by: ZZamboni on Nov 13, '07 10:27:17PM

Can you choose to use fn+function keys for the hardware controls, like on laptop keyboards?

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10.5: Use Fn keys to switch Spaces
Authored by: e1en0r on Nov 18, '07 10:50:54PM

Yeah, you can. That's what I do on my Macbook Pro. I used to use the function keys with VirtueDesktops, and I prefer it to the controls for Spaces.

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Spaces isn't new...
Authored by: bpartridge on Nov 13, '07 02:26:46PM

The reason this works is because the backend for Spaces was implemented in Tiger - the API just was never documented. You Control Desktop, Desktop Manager, Virtue Desktops, Spaces, all of them use the same Workspaces API, and the same list of Workspaces. Spaces just puts a cool (and actually debugged) GUI and new animations on top.

You could just put some arcane key combination as the Spaces shortcuts, and then make Keystroke shortcuts to whatever you want using Butler.

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10.5: Use Fn keys to switch Spaces
Authored by: trueno on Nov 14, '07 10:42:45PM
I liked binding the Num-pad Enter on my Macbook Pro, that key isn't used anyway. Made it easy to switch to next desktop. Since VirtueDesktop and You Desktop doesn't let me do that anymore, I wrote my own:

Hope this helps someone.

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10.5: Use to switch Spaces
Authored by: victory on Nov 15, '07 02:52:45AM
Thanks trueno,

Your was a great idea!

...however, it got me thinking -- I really wanted to use Cmd-Enter as my Spaces activation trigger (rather than 'switch between spaces') since this would allow me to activate Spaces and quickly navigate between the screens with the arrow and Enter/Return keys, all with very little travel from the bottom right of the keyboard

I was about to write to you asking if you'd consider adding that type of functionality to your app, when it dawned on me:

I was already using Griffin's to control iTunes with hotkeys, so it was a simple matter of creating other hotkeys triggers to control Spaces. (Use Proxi's 'Hotkey Monitor' trigger with a 'Key Press' task)

In short order, I was able to recreate my preferred setup when I was using VirtueDesktops under Tiger:

Cmd-Enter = Activate Spaces

Cmd-Opt-(backtick) = Switch to Next Space

Cmd-Opt-1 = Space 1

Cmd-Opt-q = Space 2

Cmd-Opt-a = Space 3

Cmd-Opt-z = Space 4

[May need to fiddle with 'System Preferences->Keyboard Shortcuts' to resolve hotkey assignment conflicts]

Why the weird keys for the individual Spaces? I prefer to arrange my workspaces in a 1x4 vertical column and on a US keyboard the 1-Q-A-Z keys are all stacked on top of each other, mimicking this arrangement. (Cmd-Opt-[1/Q/A/Z] is also much easier for me reach than Cmd-Opt-[1/2/3/4] is)

Although it seems I won't be using your Switcher app, thanks for the nice idea and for sharing it with others. I don't think using Proxi would have occurred to me if I hadn't tried Switcher first.

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