MacBook Pro Touch Bar Function Keys in IDE

MacBook Pro Touch Bar Function Keys in IDE

If you have been wondering about how to get dedicated function keys set for your IDE/text editor of choice.  Here's a little Gem I found the other day with some help from Jeremy Ross.

The Issue

I've been using IntelliJ IDEA with Illuminated Cloud 2 and some of the key combinations are 3 or 4 simultaneous presses one of witch could be a function key (f1-f12).  This makes it a total of up to 5 keys I would need to press at once... and I can't remember that many at a time so.  I decided to try an remove a key.

So to speak since technically the Touch bar has no keys.

Default Touch Bar

Default Touch Bar 

I had heard about BetterTouchTool and gave it a try but I was not able to choose the default function keys.  I could recreate them but the spacing was off and it seemed like a lot of work.

The Solution:

I ended up finding that you are able to assign the function keys to specific programs in the settings.  To do this:

  1. Open System Preferences
  2. Then open Keyboard
  3. Choose the Shortcuts tab
  4. Select Function Keys on the right hand side
  5. Use the + to add programs that will use the function keys

I added 3 programs so far so it looks like this:

Programs that default to Function KeysPrograms that default to Function Keys

Function Keys

Function Keys

Now my IDEs show function keys and I can still pull up the other Touch Bar short cuts by holding the fn key.... I probably wont be doing that too much though.

Conclusion

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