4/20/229:00 am How To Use the FN/Globe Key On Your Mac Keyboard The FN or Globe key on your Mac keyboard can be used to switch between special feature and F-keys, change what is shown on a Touch Bar, or can also be a used by itself to bring up the Emoji and Symbol Viewer, change Input Source, or start dictation. Video Transcript: Hi, this is Gary with MacMost.com. Let's take a look at what the fn or Globe key does on your Mac keyboard. MacMost is brought to you thanks to a great group of more than 1000 supporters. Go to MacMost.com/patreon. There you can read more about the Patreon Campaign. Join us and get exclusive content and course discounts. So it has been awhile since I've talked about the fn or as it is called now the Globe Key. If you have an older Mac keyboard, even just a couple of years old, it just has a key on it that's labeled with the two letters fn. But newer Macs have that same key with fn and also a Globe symbol on it. This is the same key and does the same thing but the functionality does vary depending upon which Mac you have. Most notably if you have a Mac with a Touch Bar things will be a little different but your Mac will also show the key as either fn or Globe depending upon which keyboard you have. So here on my new Mac Studio I'm still using the very good previous generation of Apple keyboard and it has fn on the key. If I go to System Preferences and then go to Keyboard then I go to the keyboard section here and it will call this the fn key. It says here Press fn key to and I can set it to something. Also here is uses the term fn key in this description. However on my M1 MacBook Pro it has the Globe printed on that key in addition to fn and if I look into Preferences it calls it by that symbol there. So you can see it says press Globe to and it has that same menu there. Also you'll notice a different menu here on the MacBook because there's a Touch Bar on this particular model so it actually has an additional set of functionality here that you won't find on newer Macs that don't have the Touch Bar. But strangely enough it does actually call it the fn key here in the description. Alright, so let's go back here and take a look at what the fn key does. It basically can do two different things. One is it can change how the keys at the top of your keyboard work. So you have the keys labeled F1, F2, F3 and so on. They also have special symbols on them that represent Brightness, Playback Control, and Volume Controls. These are called special features. So when you press F1 you can trigger the F1 character or you could also be turning down the brightness of your screen. Now which one happens depends on this checkbox here. When you have this checked then by just pressing the F1 key it sends the F1 signal to whatever app you're using. So let's say you are using an app and it shows that the F1 key can be used to do some special function. Well, then pressing F1 would do that. However if you were to hold down the fn or Globe key and press F1 then it would lower the brightness of your screen. If you uncheck this it does the opposite. Pressing F1 will actually lower brightness. If you want to get the F1 key to send the signal to the app that you are using you need to hold down the fn key or Globe key and press F1 at the same time. So just switch this to whatever you prefer. A lot of Mac users don't actually use the F1, F2, F3 shortcuts in apps very much and in that case it might make sense to have this turned Off so you can just use these keys to control Playback, Volume and so on. However, if you find yourself using apps that are commonly asking you to press F1 or F5 or F7 then you may want to have this turned On so you can press those keys without having to hold down the fn or Globe key. Either way you can access all those functions by either pressing or not pressing the fn or Globe key. Now in addition to that with macOS Monterey you could also use this fn or Globe key to trigger actions all by itself. That's done by setting something here. So instead of Do Nothing I can have it Change the Input Source. So the Input Sources would be here. If I had multiple languages that I wanted to access on my keyboard I could add a new keyboard here. Let's, for instance, add a British keyboard right there. Now according to this since I have it set to change input source, and now you could see here the little flag there indicating my input source. I can click on that and switch if I want or I could tap the fn key and you could see how it switches for me. Of course if you only have on input source set then it won't really do anything except show you the input source there and it wouldn't make sense to have this set to this. You could also use it for Show Emoji & Symbols. So, for instance, here in TextEdit if I wanted to insert an emoji or symbol I could use the older keyboard shortcut Control Command Space and it would bring this up. But I could also now use the fn or Globe key. Tap that and it will bring up the same thing. Another option here is to start Dictation. Now to prevent you from doing that accidentally it requires you to press fn twice. So if I wanted to dictate with that turned on I can press the fn key twice and since I had it disabled it's going to ask me to Enable it. Now it is On. pressing once turns it Off. If I ever wanted to turn on dictation again, two taps turns it On, one tap turns it Off. It's important to note that these are really quick taps on that key. If you press and hold nothing will happen. So you want to make sure you just press and release as you would when normally typing a letter. Now my MacBook Pro that has a Touch Bar you can actually use the same key, hold it down, and it will change the functionality in the Touch Bar. You could see here there are several things that it could do. If you just want to kind of go to the standard you would switch to just show the F1, F2, and F3 keys and it will turn the Touch Bar into a row of F keys. Now also note that the fn or Globe key can be used as a regular modifier key. Apple is starting to do that a little bit. If you go to System Preferences and then Keyboard and then look in Shortcuts under Mission Control here there is a shortcut for QuickNote and you'll see that the shortcut there is fn or the Globe key Q. But it usually doesn't work if you try to use it yourself. Like, for instance, Show Notifications Center, that might be nice to have as fn and N but it won't register that as a shortcut that you could set. Now here's one more thing I want to show you. Suppose you have a keyboard where the fn key is on the other side. I've got that with my older Apple Extended Keyboard. Instead of being at the lower left it's in an inconvenient spot. Well, I can set the Caps Lock key to be fn or the Globe key instead. Just go to Modifier Keys right here and then you see you could change each of the modifier keys and reassign it something else. So I could take the Caps Lock key and set that to the fn key as well. I'm still using the fn key as that but now I have an additional place that I can press. So set Caps Lock to fn and now you can use the Caps Lock key to bring up the Emoji & Symbols viewer. I hope you found this useful. Thanks for watching. Related Subjects: Keyboard Shortcuts (77 videos) Related Video Tutorials: No related posts. Comments: 11 Responses to “How To Use the FN/Globe Key On Your Mac Keyboard” Ken 2 years ago The globe key also functions as a shortcut key. Globe+Q brings up Notes, and Globe+F switches a window to and from full screen mode. Globe+A lets you use the Dock with the keyboard, Globe+D lets you start dictating text, Globe+H hides the current window, Globe+N slides the notifications in from the right, and Globe+W goes to the top of the current window. However, you can't make shortcuts with it in Settings > Keyboard. I imagine that the Globe key will have expanded use in MacOS Ventura. Gary Card 1 year ago I see the new Apple Magic keyboard with the Numeric keyboard is missing the (bottom left) "fn" key which is present on my current Apple keyboard. How does one enter a command associated with this function key on the new keyboard? Gary Rosenzweig 1 year ago Gary: The FN/Globe key is on every Mac keyboard. On yours you will find it to the left of the Home key, under F13 Gary Card 1 year ago Thanks Gary and Ken, I see the Globe/ fn Key now on the new Black Magic keyboard under the F13 key. I enjoy watching your Videos, occasionally. Cheers, Gary Kathy 1 year ago Hi Gary, Using keyboard viewer (Specifically Character Viewer) How can I add the 'globe with meridians' in black to my frequently used? I can drag the black globe from the 'font variation' to my pages document, & occasionally I get a black globe, but when I look in the frequently used area it is always blue & I can't rely on repeating the black globe. I would love to know how to select that as black by default from my Frequently used. I notice you have it on your handy Kboard Shortcuts pdf. Thx Gary Rosenzweig 1 year ago Kathy: The only thing close to that that is part of standard emojis and fonts is the blue emoji character: 🌐 The black one is not a standard symbol or emoji, but a specific character in the Apple Symbols font. But you can't normally use that font in most cases. Your best bet is to save it to a small rich text document or note or something and then copy and paste from there. I think I'm actually using the SF Fonts version of it for my PDF https://developer.apple.com/fonts/ Kathy 1 year ago Thanks Gary. It works well from a rich text document in Text Edit. That's a great work around and I appreciate it. Kathy Aliyah Ibrahim 1 year ago I have a touchpad iPad keyboard but I messed with the globe key and it’s not woking how do I fix it Gary Rosenzweig 1 year ago Aliyah: Look in Settings for your Keyboard settings and see what may be amiss. Dennis Martin 11 months ago Hi Gary, I have a Logitech keyboard that doesn't have a "Globe" key. Is there a reasonable workaround? Thanx for your valuable time. Denn Gary Rosenzweig 11 months ago Dennis: You'd have to ask Logitech that. May depend on your specific model. If it doesn't, maybe they have an updated keyboard you can get or it may be time to switch to a regular Apple one. Comments Closed.