Function Key Problems

Audacity 2.4.1
Mac Mini 10.9.5
Macbook Air 10.13.6

I had occasion to go back and forth multiple times between the Time Shift Tool and the Selector I-Beam. The two jobs claim to have Function Key equivalents. The function keys associated with those two don’t always work and it seems to be machine dependent.

On the Mac Mini with wired keyboard, F5 does indeed give me the Time Shift Tool, but F1 will not bring me back to the Selector.

On the laptop, neither function key works and they both retain their Mac jobs. F5 changes the keyboard backlight, and F1 changes screen brightness.


Isn’t it normally “fn + F1” to change screen brightness?
Has one of your machines been set up to use the function keys without pressing “Fn”?

The laptops, all three, default to the jobs printed on the keys. Volume on the right, screen brightness on the left and keyboard backlight in the middle. The one key setup that many Mac users are familiar with is the volume control sound effect. That does vary with user.

Poit Poit Poit Poit as you go down and the reverse coming back up.

The one key that does work is the wired keyboard where the middle function key just says “F5.” No other jobs.

I didn’t know about the Apple Preferences trick. I can try that in a bit. I wonder if I set that up, I lose F5.


Preference change on the wired keyboard does give me the different Audacity keys, F1 and F5, specifically. This office machine doesn’t use anything else. Brightness happens at the monitor and I have a separate volume control with large black volume knob. I may leave this machine this way.

Meanwhile, on the laptop, they’re right. The preferences setting causes the “F” keys to dominate and I get Selector on F1 and Time Shift Tool on F5. However, they’re also right I lose the simple volume control. It turns into a function function.

That one’s a toss-up. The job was to carefully match two sound clips and then listen. I could have used all three tools rather than either/or.

I’m resisting going into probabilities. “If I use one third of the tools half the time…”

It’s nice to know it’s there.