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Show HN: Fluor a macOS app to switch Fn keys depending on active application (github.com)
71 points by Pyroh13453 on Jan 10, 2017 | hide | past | web | favorite | 31 comments

I may add that changing to fn keys depending on the current app can be set in the keyboard settings of MacOS as well.

Sorry, while writing, I mistakenly thought the app is meant for the touchbar.

That’s interesting. How?

Not certain, but the built in setting may only be for Macs with the Touch Bar, where it's available under System Preferences -> Keyboard -> Shortcuts and choosing the "Function Keys" category.

It's not possible unless the app has it enabled.


It doesn't work with the Kinesis Freestyle2 keyboard, in case you were wondering. Damn, what the fuck did Kinesis do with this thing...? I haven't found any software able to manage the Fn key on this keyboard.

The Pause/Break key on the Kinesis Advantage (acting in macOS as F15) raises the brightness for me, but the Scroll lock key (which is supposed to lower brightness / act as F14) doesn't (it seems to act as Tab instead

Edit: This seems to be because those are mapped to F14/F15 respectively in macOS by default. Apparently an non-Apple external keyboard cannot send Apples media keys, so unless your keyboard has its own media keys it will not work.

The Kinesis Advantage supports enabling media keys by pressing =n (see http://superuser.com/a/403765)

The Freestyle 2 for Mac has working multimedia keys, which double as F keys when you press Fn - basically to mirror standard Apple keyboards. Unfortunately there must be some internal hacking involved, because the Kinesis does not respect the System Preference for swapping multimedia with F keys; I was hoping to work around that with some app, but nothing seems able to intercept most of its multimedia keys on Sierra. Tonight I'll try with khd [1], if I can figure out how it's supposed to work...

[1] https://github.com/koekeishiya/khd

Take a look at USB Overdrive. I have been able to map most of my peripherals there, even odd macro keys that random keyboards have. From there you can always combine it with BetterTouchTool (or something similar), to remap the now findable keys, if you want different behavior than the default.

Palua (which I use for years) offers the same but it's not free (1 Dollar). Currently I cannot find it in German Appstore. This one is "only" open source and free, so it's great! :)

It is no longer in the french store either, it seems that it has been discontinued.

Interesting. I bookmarked Fluor now for future usage. My Palua still works nowadays.

I've been using a hacked up solution to do this using ControlPlane (to detect the foreground application) and fntoggle (https://github.com/nelsonjchen/fntoggle) for a while.

It's mostly for use with IntelliJ's IDEs, but it's been a real productivity boost for me. Will definitely be checking this out as a replacement.

This is wonderful.

If you're looking for more customization, there's always Karabiner (or Karabiner Elements for the latest version of macOS), but that is a hefty piece of software. This is great for when I do not need that level of configuration. Well done.

I like the idea - but for almost all single-use tools like this, I find Hammerspoon can do it with a few lines of Lua: http://www.hammerspoon.org/

I actually specifically use this tool because I have been unable to do this through Hammerspoon without resorting to AppleScript GUI scripting of the preferences pane. This is much more elegant, though I would definitely love it if this functionality were manageable through Lua scripts.

How, in this specific example?

I've been looking at hammerspoon recently and would also love to know how!

I really like this idea but it doesnt work with the touchbar.

For machines with the Touch Bar, this can be achieved using System Preferences -> Keyboard -> Shortcuts and choosing "Function Keys" from the list of categories. You can then specify apps that should show function keys instead of app controls by default. (i.e. inverts the behaviour of the fn key in the listed apps.)


Thats exactly was I was looking for.

Try BetterTouchTool[https://www.boastr.net/]. I'm using it to customise my TouchBar for each app I use, and it's great. Touchbar version is an alpha - but I've found it mostly stable.

Awesome, I've wanted this for a long time. Does it only work on macOS or also earlier versions (Yosemite?)

OSX 10.11 or later.

Love it. Use it. Thank you.

Awesome, thank you :)

Just what I was looking for. Thanks!!!

You can do the same in macos settings.

> Fluor is released under the MIT license. See LICENSE for details.

> Some of fntoggle's code was used. As its author wrote it could be released under the GPL2 license.

Then Fluor also needs to be released under a GPL license, doesn't it? See https://www.tldrlegal.com/l/gpl2

Yes. Fluor author can provide code that they have written under a dual license of both MIT and GPLv2, but users need to be able to get the code under GPLv2 in order full fill the conditions (and to get things like the patent grant).

Can't you already do this without a 3rd party app?


edit: Oh, this app isn't about the Touch Bar! It's about toggling the functionality of the regular function keys between F1, F2, etc... and their media/shortcut labels.

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