Display Brightness Keyboard Shortcut in OS X

Picture 3.pngSo I’ve moved back into my parents place and I haven’t set up my main desktop, and its been a while since I’ve spent some quality time with my iMac G4, so I figured, why the heck not.

I had originally set it up with the Apple keyboard and mouse… but after a bit of typing, I had to go back to my mechanical keyboard and gaming mouse.

Well I was sitting here fiddling around with it when I thought to myself, “Dang my screen is bright!”

On the Apple keyboard, you can use the extra function keys (F15 and F16, but it could be F14 and F15) to adjust the brightness of the display. It’s not actually labeled on the keyboard, but you can probably do it with any Mac that it’s connected to.

But I’m not using my Apple keyboard, I’m using my sexy KBT Race ‘board. So, what to do? Well, apparently, when a big ol’ regular keyboard is plugged into OS X, it doesn’t see Print Screen, Scroll Lock, and Pause for what they’re labeled as, it just sees them as extra function (F-) keys, as they are on the Apple keyboard, F14, F15, and F16.

Why am I bothering telling you so?

I’m telling you so because if you happen to be using a non-Apple keyboard in OS X and wish to adjust the brightness of your display… Fear not!

Just press Scroll Lock to make it dimmer and Pause to make it brighter!

Since I’m using a compact keyboard with a wacky layout, I have to hold down the Fn key and then press the appropriate key, but still, I am able to adjust the brightness with a keyboard shortcut.

I’m a huge fan of keyboard shortcuts and OS X has some REALLY handy ones. I didn’t see brightness in the list there, but no matter, I’m telling you, so now you know.

What are some of your favorite keyboard shortcuts?

Note: That screencap of system preferences is from OS X 10.5 “Leopard”, so if you’re on a newer version of OS X, yours might look different. For that reason, if something doesn’t work as I’ve suggested it, use your Google-fu to find the appropriate solution for your particular operating system.

Recommended App: MarsEdit

I’m writing this post using a program called MarsEdit.  MarsEdit is a weblog publishing utility.  This is handy for me because the WordPress interface is pretty beefy and my old PowerBookG4 struggles a little bit with big websites like that.  MarsEdit doesn’t have a huge processor/RAM footprint.  Give it a shot.
Also, PureMac is an awesome site.  I found out about it a very long time ago, and I’m happy to see that it’s still up.  It’s a great resource for people who are new to the Apple fold that aren’t sure what apps to get.  Old school lookin, but I always find myself back there for something or other.


Frotz is a free interactive fiction app for the iPhone.  I just played through Photopia on it just to test it out, and it works quite well.  If you happen to get the free app, go to Settings > Getting Started.  Getting started has “New to Interactive Fiction?” and “No, Really, Where Do I Start?” sections that are very readable and highly informative.  It’s a great solution for people wishing to enjoy IF on the go, and for those wanting to get their feet wet in IF.