Help! I've fallen (for a wireless keyboard) and I can't get up (or down)

Started Aug 14, 2012 | Discussions thread
noirdesir Forum Pro • Posts: 13,486
Re: Help! I've fallen (for a wireless keyboard) and I can't get up (or down)

Doug Bale wrote:

The fn-key doesn't appear to do quite that in Mountain Lion. Fn and the down arrow will take you to the last page (even if that's page 500 of a 500-page template in which you've only got half a dozen pages filled so far), but it won't move your cursor. Same with the fn-and-up-arrow combination. Fn and left or right arrows take you to the left or right end of the line you're on. But there's nothing to get you to the start or end of the entire text.

I have not used a Mac with actual Home and End keys for over a decade, so what I see with fn-arrow is what I think Home and End would do. These key combination do much different things depending on where the cursor is, ie, they can act on a line, a page or a whole document. Even in applications that don't have editing enabled in normal use (eg, Acrobat), I get different behaviour depending on where I click on the page (using the selection cursor). I always thought that it was the applications themselves which interpreted the Home, End, etc. differently depending on context but maybe it is the OS sending something different to the application based on context, ie, sometimes sending a 'true Home' and sometimes sending something else.

To give a concrete example: with a pdf open in Acrobat and the selection tool selected, if I click into the margins (ie, such that the selection cursor disappears), fn-arrow gives me begin or end of document or one page up or down. If I click into some text (with the cursor appearing), fn-right/left-arrow only move inside the selected line of text.

For your benefit, I dug up an old (2001) Apple full-size keyboard and the behaviour of the Home, End, Up, and Down keys is exactly the same as fn-arrow on a compact keyboard. So, to me, I cannot see any difference between those keys and fn-arrows. But since they are not called Home, End, Up and Down on that Apple keyboard, I don't know what 'true' Home, End, etc. keys would do. Maybe the behaviour is different under Windows where those keys have these names.

I thought it might just be a freak of InDesign, but the same thing seems to apply in Apple's own apps; I whipped up a dummy page in TextEdit and got the same result.

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