Wintellect Blogs

Get Function Keys By Default with Parallels and a MacBook Pro Touch Bar

27 Dec , 2016  

Having purchased a 15 inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar recently, I’ve been having a good time seeing how that Touch Bar can be used. With applications that know about the Touch Bar, it is an interesting UI approach. But with many macOS applications not having full Touch Bar support, I’ll reserve full judgment until most apps support it. I will say that the Photos app shows a tremendously useful way to use the Touch Bar.

One app I use all the time, the virtual machine program Parallels, does not currently support the Touch Bar, so whenever you are in it, you see the default Touch Bar view:

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The only problem is that for Windows development, you really, really need those function keys. Sure you can press the FN key to have them come back, but I wanted the function keys to be the default. A little poking around in System Preferences, Keyboard settings, Shortcuts, showed the Function Keys section. I added Parallels Desktop to the list and, voila, now Parallels defaults to showing the function keys whenever Parallels has focus. Not the most earth shattering of tips, but one that certainly made my life better.

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Now if only Apple would sell a Touch Bar external keyboard…

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  • Marley Gray [marleyg@MSFT]

    You sir, just saved my hair from being ripped out! Thanks