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Background:

I have a new laptop than comes as usual, with a Fn key, and in the keyboard, the row with the regular function keys also is used for other functions like brightness, volume, turn wireless, and multimedia.

However, their default action is for those functions directly, instead of F1 - F12. I already edited the BIOS to make the default action to be the F1 - F12 key, and if i want to use the functions, I then use Fn+ each key. But that has the disadvantage, that now if i want to use such functions, usually I need to hands, left hand for the Fn key, and right one for the Function one. I mention all that because I DO know that i can simply use that to control multimedia, but that keys are not what I want.

Now, what I want to do is MAP the Fn key itself to OTHER keys to get the same actions.

I used a little util called "WinAmp Control", that mapped the Windows Key + others to control Winamp. and by default, it maped WinKey + [Z,X,C,V,B] for the [previous, play, pause, stop, and next] (those keys are the ones WinAmp directly uses when in foreground). That is much easier for me because i can control WinAmp globally with Win+those keys

But since windows 8 now uses some of those bindings for something else, the utility no longer works as expected. For example, Win+C now opens the Charms sidebar, Win+B focuses the taskbar icons, etc.

Now, since the laptops Fn key is not used by anything else, can I just grab it and map it to multimedia controls?

I think i could use Autohotkey to catch the Fn+[someKey], but I am not sure, since I've read that the Fn key does NOT "report" anything to windows, but i am not sure.

In other words, can I use the Fn key along other keys as global hotkeys for any function I want? Or I am limited to the regular keys? (Ctrl, Alt, etc)?

And even if I cant, could you anyway tell me the Autohotkey "commands" to emulate multimedia actions? (play, pause, next, previous), please? I think it involves "WM_APPCOMMAND messages" according to WinAmp itself, but I really have no idea, I just found it in WinAmp preferences. So i could at least use other keys instead of Fn

Note that I also already know that WinAmp itself could let me use hotkeys directly, but I first like to know if I can do it with the Fn key.

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See superuser.com/questions/506749/… –  Vadzim Oct 10 at 19:28
    
what!? that's a link to this very same question! –  DiegoDD Oct 10 at 21:59
    

1 Answer 1

The OS doesn't receive any input from the Fn - the key modifies what's being sent from the keyboard to the OS.

From the wikipedia article:

Fn is not a normal keyboard key, such as the modifiers Ctrl, Shift and AltGr. For a standard modifier key, the microcontroller inside the keyboard sends a scancode for the modifier itself, which is then interpreted by the operating system and combined with other simultaneous key-presses. The Fn key is a form of meta-modifier key, in that it causes the operating system to see altered scancodes when other keys on the keyboard are pressed. This allows the keyboard to directly emulate a full-sized keyboard, so the operating system can use standard keymaps designed for a full-sized keyboard. However, because the operating system has no notion of the Fn key, the key can not normally be remapped in software, unlike all other standard keyboard keys.

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