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When using an external keyboard, how can use a function key as a function key (e.g. F10) instead of Mac custom control button (e.g. mute)? The built-in keyboard contains an fn button, but I cannot find it in the external one.

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When you say external, do you mean 3rd party? I'm confused because the recent Apple keyboards, even the small ones, come with a Fn key. – emgee Sep 18 '09 at 5:33
up vote 8 down vote accepted

The only way is to disable system-wide (that includes the notebook's keyboard) the custom control keys, and tell OS X that you just want to use it as normal F1-F12/F16 keys.

Go to System Preferences > Keyboard. Check the box that says "Use all F1, F2, etc. keys as standard function keys"

alt text

If you are using a Mac keyboard, there should be a Fn key. On the latest Mac wired slim aluminium keyboard, it is around the home, page up, page down area. On the wireless slim keyboard, it is to the bottom left.

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When taking a screenshot of a single window in OS X, pressing command shift 4 space will allow you to capture the single window with it's drop shadow, without any other apps in the background. – Josh Hunt Sep 18 '09 at 8:42
@joshhunt nice screenshot :) – alex Sep 18 '09 at 8:43

Silly me. The fn button is below F13.

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Also, you could try something like this utility.

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If you are running Windows 7 under Boot Camp you can change in the Boot Camp control panel in your windows session. enter image description here

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