EEGer uses the function keys to perform actions during live and replay sessions. On some computers, the behavior of the function keys need to be adjusted to ensure they are compatible with EEGer.

How to Tell if Function Keys Need to Be Switched

Most keyboards use the function keys for two purposes: as normal keys and as ‘action keys’. When the function keys are in action key mode, they act like shortcuts to common actions like adjusting the volume or screen brightness.

For the function keys to work with EEGer, we need to know if the keyboard is in action key mode:

  1. Locate the top row of keys on the keyboard labeled F1 through F12 - these are the function keys.
  2. Locate the function key with a mute symbol on it. This typically looks like a speaker with an X on it.
  3. Press the function key with the mute symbol and observe the top-left of the screen.
    • If the keyboard is in action key mode, a volume bar will appear when the mute button is pressed. By pressing the mute button again, the volume will be toggled between muted and unmuted.
    • If nothing appears in the top-left of the screen, then the keyboard is set to the correct mode for EEGer and additional configuration is not needed.

If the keyboard is set to action key mode, follow the steps below to ensure the function keys will work with EEGer.

Using the Fn Key to Toggle Function Keys

On the bottom row of most keyboards there is a key labeled Fn. When held, this key toggles between action key mode and normal function keys. This is the simplest way to allow the keyboard to work with EEGer, but requires the Fn key to be pressed when actions are performed in EEGer.

For example, F5 is the key that is used to play or pause a session in EEGer. If the keyboard is in action key mode, the user has to press Fn+F5 for the button to work with EEGer. To check impedance, a user would normally press Ctrl+F7. If the keyboard is in action key mode, they have to press Ctrl+Fn+F7.

Enabling Function Lock

When enabled, the function lock swaps the mode that the function keys are in. This means that the Fn key does not need to be pressed when performing actions in EEGer.

Activating function lock will vary depending on the brand and model of computer. Some keyboards have a dedicated function lock key, but others require a combination of keys to be pressed to turn on function lock. Typically, an LED will be illuminated to signify that function lock is turned on.

If the computer does not have a dedicated function lock button, common shortcuts include Fn+Shift, Fn+Ctrl, and Fn+Esc. It is recommended to search online for the specific model of computer for instructions. As an example, here is a support page with information for HP Laptops.

As of writing, here are general instructions for different brands of laptops and keyboards:

  • Dell Laptops: Typically Fn+Esc, signified by a small padlock symbol on the Esc key.
  • Microsoft Surface Laptops: Tapping the Fn by itself should toggle the function lock, and an LED on the key indicates the status.
  • HP Laptops: Some HP laptops use Fn+Shift, signified by a small padlock symbol on the Shift key or the text Fn Lock.
  • Lenovo Laptops: Most Lenovo laptops have a program called Lenovo Vantage that is used to toggle the function lock (Devices>Input and Accessories>Keyboard). Some Lenovo laptops will use the shortcut Fn+Esc to toggle the function lock.
  • ASUS Vivobook Laptops: Typically Fn+Esc, signified by a small padlock symbol on the Esc key.

Permanently Changing Function Key Behavior

Some laptops do not have a function lock, and instead require the mode of the function keys to be changed through the computer’s BIOS. This can be a difficult process, but several step-by-step tutorials exist online for different models of computers.

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