Defaulting to a variety of Apple keys for media, Exposé, and the Dashboard, the functions keys have to be continually activated by holding down the Function (fn) key on your keyboard. Function keys by default offer some powerful functionality; F8 is used to activate Spaces or Yojimbo; the F9 through F11 keys manage windows; and applications such as Photoshop can make extensive use of this top row for various functions. If you are going to be making use of the functions while working in a specific app, Palua for Mac allows you to toggle the function keys on and off so you don't have to mash the fn key with each command. More interested in getting use out of those function keys than changing the volume? From the menubar or a simple ⌥⌘⇥ (option-command-tab) keystroke, Palua will activate and deactivate the function keys as needed when working in various projects. Used in combination with Keyboard Maestro, you could create some pretty powerful workflows where apps automatically launch and the function keys are activated for immediate use. Palua is available on the Mac App Store for only 0.99 cents, which can be purchased and activated at login so you'll always have the function keys readily available with a quick keyboard shortcut.
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