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Archived - PowerBook: Using the Multi-function Keyboard

The PowerBook G3 Series (Bronze keyboard), PowerBook (FireWire) and PowerBook G4 have a multi-function keyboard. This article describes the different functions of the keyboard and how to utilize them.
This article has been archived and is no longer updated by Apple.
Your PowerBook comes with a built-in keyboard and trackpad. The keyboard includes:

- a numeric keypad incorporated in the PowerBook keyboard .
- controls to adjust the brightness of the display, and the volume of the PowerBook speakers and external audio port.

Using the Numeric Keypad

Your PowerBook keyboard has a built-in numeric keypad.



Figure 1 Numeric keypad and Num Lock key locations

To activate the numeric keypad:

Press the Num Lock key. When the keypad is active, the green light next to the key is on.

Using the Keyboard Control Panel

Mac OS 8.x or earlier

You can set up the keyboard in the Mac OS 8.x (using the Keyboard control panel) so the function keys are primary and the brightness, volume, and other controls are not active until you press the Fn key.

To do this, open the Keyboard control panel (Figure 2) and click the Options button. This will open the Options window (See figure 3).



Figure 2 Keyboard control panel



Figure 3 Keyboard control panel Options dialog box

By selecting the Function Keys checkbox, F1 through F12 become the primary function keys.

Example:

- With this button checked - you will have to hold down the Fn key while selecting the brightness up for it to work.
- With this button unchecked - you just press the brightness key and it will work.

Note: When the built-in keypad is activated, only keys used for the keypad are enabled. Keys not used in the numeric keypad and keyboard equivalents for menu commands are disabled.

Note: Using the key caps Desk Accessory is a great way to determine which mode the keyboard is in and which keys are active.

To turn off the numeric keypad: Press the Num Lock key.

Mac OS 9.x

You can set up the keyboard in the Mac OS 9.x (using the Keyboard control panel) so the function keys are primary and any programmed functions keys are not active until you press the Fn key.

To do this, open the Keyboard control panel (figure 4) and click the Function Keys button. This will open the Hot Function Keys window (See figure 5).

Note: If you have Mac OS 9.x installed on your computer and your control panel does not have the Function Key button, see article 60530: Mac OS 9: "Using Programmable Keyboard Function Keys" .



Figure 4 Keyboard control panel



Figure 5 Hot Function Keys window

By selecting the Hot Function Keys checkbox, F1 through F12 become the primary function keys.

Example:

- With this button checked - you just press the Eject CD key and it will work.
- With this button unchecked - you will have to hold down the Fn key while selecting the Eject CD key for it to work.

Also, you can program the function keys to help simplify common, everyday tasks performed on the computer. You can use these keys to open a browser, an email application, or any other frequently used application or server by pressing a single key.

To do this, open the Keyboard control panel (figure 4) and click the Function Keys button. This will open the Hot Function Keys window (See figure 5). Then just follow the instructions in the Hot Function Key Assignment section.

Note: The function keys F1 through F12 can be easily reset to have primary functionality. Simply open the Keyboard control panel and select Function Keys. Then deselect the box that says "Use F1 through F12 as Hot Function keys."

Note: Programmable function keys are not a feature of Mac OS X 10.0

Using the Keyboard Control Panel

Adjusting the volume

You can adjust the volume of the internal speakers by using the volume and mute keys on the PowerBook keyboard.


Figure 6 Volume keys on PowerBook keyboard

The volume control keys, along with the brightness and other keys, can also be used as function keys (F1 - F12). To use the keys as function keys, press the function (Fn) key.

Adjusting the brightness of the internal display

You can adjust the brightness of the internal display with the brightness keys on the PowerBook keyboard.

Brightness controls


Figure 7 Brightness control keys

The brightness control keys, along with the volume and other keys, can also be used as function keys (F1 - F12). To use the keys as function keys, press the function (Fn) key.

Locking your keyboard

To protect the internal components of your PowerBook G3 Series (Bronze keyboard), such as the memory module and hard disk, you can lock the PowerBook keyboard.

To lock the keyboard, use a flathead screwdriver to turn the keyboard locking screw clockwise 5 turns.




Figure 8 Keyboard locking screw on PowerBook G3 Series (Bronze keyboard)

Note: PowerBook (FireWire) keyboards have a locking screw located between the F4 and F5 keys. Turn the screw one half turn to lock or unlock the keyboard.

Last Modified: Feb 20, 2012
  • Last Modified: Feb 20, 2012
  • Article: TA25862
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