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Change volume and brightness in quarter-step increments System
You can use modifier keys, together with F keys, to change volume and brightness by quarter increments. To do this, press Option-Shift-F1 or Option-Shift-F2 to change the brightness by quarter steps. For volume, press Option-Shift-F11 or Option-Shift-F12 to change by quarter steps.

[kirkmc adds: This isn't new; we have a hint about this when it returned to Mac OS X 10.7.4; it had existed prior to 10.7, but was removed in the early versions of Lion. But it seemed useful to remind readers about this, and point out that it works for both volume and brightness.]
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Change volume and brightness in quarter-step increments | 8 comments | Create New Account
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Change volume and brightness in quarter-step increments
Authored by: zais on Mar 28, '13 10:14:24AM

Didn't know that.
Live and learn.
Thanks.



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Change volume and brightness in quarter-step increments
Authored by: slswift on Mar 28, '13 12:20:40PM

None of those key combinations do anything on my Mac mini 10.8.3 using an Apple bluetooth keyboard.



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Change volume and brightness in quarter-step increments
Authored by: bed124 on Mar 28, '13 03:24:01PM

Remember that, if you've changed your FN keys to operate as FN keys (i.e., rather than system-control keys) via System Preferences => Keyboard, then instead of pressing Option-Shift-<FN key>, you'll need to press Fn-Option-Shift-<FN key> to access the 1/4-increment setting capabilities (wherein the "fingering" antics range from slightly awkward to very difficult to impossible, depending upon which model of keyboard you're using).



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Change volume and brightness in quarter-step increments
Authored by: slswift on Mar 29, '13 07:29:07AM

I believe that is only true on laptops. This is a Mac mini. I don't even have the FN key on my Apple keyboard.



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Change volume and brightness in quarter-step increments
Authored by: bed124 on Mar 29, '13 12:09:42PM

(Going only by the 10 Mac keyboards we have at our location) Various Mac USB/external keyboards have the Fn key, including the newer "flat" aluminum "full" keyboards and the "shortie"/wireless keyboards, but the older "plastic" keyboards do not (at least the "white" and "graphite 'n clear" ones we have, don't).

Looking at the System Preferences => Keyboard control panel, from my limited sample (which does include one Macmini4,1) the behavior seems to be that, if a keyboard with a Fn key is attached (and selected, in some cases), then the "Use all F1, F2, etc. keys as standard function keys" option is presented (that's the wording for 10.8), otherwise the option is not presented (as it's not on our Mac Mini because it has an older plastic keyboard attached).

Of course, the obvious question is "If you attach a Fn-key'd keyboard, enable the option, then switch to a different keyboard ... does the OS "do the right thing?" #;-)

Due to the difficulty of accessing cabling on the applicable USB keyboard and the extreme difficulty of disassociating/re-associating a wireless keyboard where there are 4 within 10 feet of each other <grrrrr>, I'll leave the job of answering that question as an exercise for another reader.



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Change volume and brightness in quarter-step increments
Authored by: Lri on Mar 28, '13 03:07:32PM

You can also use KeyRemap4MacBook to remap F11 and F12 to ⌥⇧F11 and ⌥⇧F12:

<autogen>__KeyToKey__ KeyCode::VK_CONSUMERKEY_VOLUME_DOWN, ModifierFlag::NONE, KeyCode::VK_CONSUMERKEY_VOLUME_DOWN, ModifierFlag::OPTION_L | ModifierFlag::SHIFT_L</autogen>
<autogen>__KeyToKey__ KeyCode::VK_CONSUMERKEY_VOLUME_UP, ModifierFlag::NONE, KeyCode::VK_CONSUMERKEY_VOLUME_UP, ModifierFlag::OPTION_L | ModifierFlag::SHIFT_L</autogen>


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Change volume and brightness in quarter-step increments
Authored by: Rishifter on Apr 01, '13 10:48:35AM

Thanks for that! I might need that in the future.

I was thinking, however, that they could have avoided the need for using an extra app for this by doing something that seems very natural.

As soon as I read the tip, I tried it with the brightness as I often change that during the day but am never very satisfied. I set it up at 4 1/2 using the hint and then let go of the option and shift keys. Afterwards, I thought it would be natural that changing it using just the brightness keys would change it by 1 step like usual so I'd be at 5 1/2 but seems like it first rounds off and then changes it step by step. This is confusing and very unnatural. If they had not done that, I might have just used the default one with using option and shift only when changing the fine tuning.



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a way of making this the default?
Authored by: magnamous on Mar 28, '13 10:30:18PM

Ok, soooo...might there be a way to make this behavior the default when I press the button on the keyboard? I would prefer the quarter-steps by default, and whole steps when using these modifier keys.

Anyone have any ideas?

Whoops - so apparently KeyRemap4MacBook is one way. Any others that don't require additional software?

Edited on Mar 28, '13 10:32:59PM by magnamous



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