Topics

changing the function key


 

Hi all, I had a quick question. On my HP laptop the function keys are defaulted to their media options, so if I want to hit shift F10, I have to hit FN shift F10. Is there anyway I can change this without going into the BIOS? I have no sighted person here to assist me with the BIOS so is there a work around?


Gene
 

From what I've seen on another list, this may be able to be changed on some computers in Windows.  But I don't know where.  I haven't tried this and I don't know if it will present any problems such as in booting, but one thing I've thought might work as a work around would be to simply tape the function key down.  Perhaps something like scotch tape might serve.  Masking tape, if left in place for a long time, for some reason has the adhesive become very sticky and clingy.  I would therefore consider it unsuitable for this purpose except for a short time.
 
Gene

----- Original Message -----
Sent: Thursday, December 15, 2016 1:04 PM
Subject: [nvda] changing the function key

Hi all, I had a quick question. On my HP laptop the function keys are
defaulted to their media options, so if I want to hit shift F10, I have
to hit FN shift F10. Is there anyway I can change this without going
into the BIOS? I have no sighted person here to assist me with the BIOS
so is there a work around?



 

Robert,

          I know of no way to change this on HP hardware without going into either UEFI or BIOS (depending on the age of the machine).  This feature is known as Action Keys.  My laptop had this enabled and I promptly disabled via the BIOS settings under UEFI.  Under UEFI it's in the BIOS settings, System Configuration settings and is enabled if you have to hit Fn in order for the function key to act like a function key, not perform the function shown on its icon.

          There are some brands that have a way to do this via the user interface.  I can't find any for HP.  Here's a link to their support page giving details on how to turn it off via BIOS for machines from the straight BIOS era.  It's virtually identical under UEFI once you know where to look, which I mentioned above.
--
Brian

 Life is the art of drawing sufficient conclusions from insufficient premises.

         ~ Samuel Butler, 1835-1902

    



Quentin Christensen
 

Also the problem with taping the key down, is that for any other keys that use Fn+key combinations, they will always act as if the key was down.  it also might not register properly when the machine restarts.  It sounds like it would be worth getting sighted help to get into the bios and change this setting once and for all.  At least, once it's done you can just use the PC normally again.

On Fri, Dec 16, 2016 at 7:12 AM, Brian Vogel <britechguy@...> wrote:

Robert,

          I know of no way to change this on HP hardware without going into either UEFI or BIOS (depending on the age of the machine).  This feature is known as Action Keys.  My laptop had this enabled and I promptly disabled via the BIOS settings under UEFI.  Under UEFI it's in the BIOS settings, System Configuration settings and is enabled if you have to hit Fn in order for the function key to act like a function key, not perform the function shown on its icon.

          There are some brands that have a way to do this via the user interface.  I can't find any for HP.  Here's a link to their support page giving details on how to turn it off via BIOS for machines from the straight BIOS era.  It's virtually identical under UEFI once you know where to look, which I mentioned above.
--
Brian

 Life is the art of drawing sufficient conclusions from insufficient premises.

         ~ Samuel Butler, 1835-1902

    





--
Quentin Christensen
Training Material Developer
Basic Training for NVDA & Microsoft Word with NVDA E-Books now available: http://www.nvaccess.org/shop/

Direct: +61 413 904 383
www.nvaccess.org 
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/NVAccess 
Twitter: @NVAccess 


Gene
 

As I understand it, the problem you describe won't occur.  When the fn key is down, it is equivalent to it being up under traditional operation.  I haven't heard that the effect of this change is limited to specific keys.  Indeed, I heard someone say, on another list, that they couldn't use alt f4 under this change because f4 was being treated as a function key combination.  As far as restart is concerned, I have no idea if there will be any effect. 
 
Gene

----- Original Message -----
Sent: Thursday, December 15, 2016 3:31 PM
Subject: Re: [nvda] changing the function key

Also the problem with taping the key down, is that for any other keys that use Fn+key combinations, they will always act as if the key was down.  it also might not register properly when the machine restarts.  It sounds like it would be worth getting sighted help to get into the bios and change this setting once and for all.  At least, once it's done you can just use the PC normally again.

On Fri, Dec 16, 2016 at 7:12 AM, Brian Vogel <britechguy@...> wrote:

Robert,

          I know of no way to change this on HP hardware without going into either UEFI or BIOS (depending on the age of the machine).  This feature is known as Action Keys.  My laptop had this enabled and I promptly disabled via the BIOS settings under UEFI.  Under UEFI it's in the BIOS settings, System Configuration settings and is enabled if you have to hit Fn in order for the function key to act like a function key, not perform the function shown on its icon.

          There are some brands that have a way to do this via the user interface.  I can't find any for HP.  Here's a link to their support page giving details on how to turn it off via BIOS for machines from the straight BIOS era.  It's virtually identical under UEFI once you know where to look, which I mentioned above.
--
Brian

 Life is the art of drawing sufficient conclusions from insufficient premises.

         ~ Samuel Butler, 1835-1902

    





--
Quentin Christensen
Training Material Developer
Basic Training for NVDA & Microsoft Word with NVDA E-Books now available: http://www.nvaccess.org/shop/

Direct: +61 413 904 383
www.nvaccess.org 
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/NVAccess 
Twitter: @NVAccess 


Gene
 

I should add that I'm not advocating for or against using this as a permanent solution.  But if you only want to use it as a temporary solution, it may work until you get the setting changed.  If you don't want to take a chance on problems when booting or rebooting, you may want to remove the tape before rebooting or shutting down or using sleep or stand by.  I don't know if any problems might result if the key is left taped down.
 
Gene

----- Original Message -----
From: Gene
Sent: Thursday, December 15, 2016 4:02 PM
Subject: Re: [nvda] changing the function key

As I understand it, the problem you describe won't occur.  When the fn key is down, it is equivalent to it being up under traditional operation.  I haven't heard that the effect of this change is limited to specific keys.  Indeed, I heard someone say, on another list, that they couldn't use alt f4 under this change because f4 was being treated as a function key combination.  As far as restart is concerned, I have no idea if there will be any effect. 
 
Gene
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Thursday, December 15, 2016 3:31 PM
Subject: Re: [nvda] changing the function key

Also the problem with taping the key down, is that for any other keys that use Fn+key combinations, they will always act as if the key was down.  it also might not register properly when the machine restarts.  It sounds like it would be worth getting sighted help to get into the bios and change this setting once and for all.  At least, once it's done you can just use the PC normally again.

On Fri, Dec 16, 2016 at 7:12 AM, Brian Vogel <britechguy@...> wrote:

Robert,

          I know of no way to change this on HP hardware without going into either UEFI or BIOS (depending on the age of the machine).  This feature is known as Action Keys.  My laptop had this enabled and I promptly disabled via the BIOS settings under UEFI.  Under UEFI it's in the BIOS settings, System Configuration settings and is enabled if you have to hit Fn in order for the function key to act like a function key, not perform the function shown on its icon.

          There are some brands that have a way to do this via the user interface.  I can't find any for HP.  Here's a link to their support page giving details on how to turn it off via BIOS for machines from the straight BIOS era.  It's virtually identical under UEFI once you know where to look, which I mentioned above.
--
Brian

 Life is the art of drawing sufficient conclusions from insufficient premises.

         ~ Samuel Butler, 1835-1902

    





--
Quentin Christensen
Training Material Developer
Basic Training for NVDA & Microsoft Word with NVDA E-Books now available: http://www.nvaccess.org/shop/

Direct: +61 413 904 383
www.nvaccess.org 
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/NVAccess 
Twitter: @NVAccess 


 

I have a System Model HP 15 Notebook PC so I will do some digging. None of the CNA's and stuff are tech savy like I am so freak out when I want them to read stuff on the screen to me, such as BIOS. I will keep looking though!


 

I do not know if this will work for you, but it worked for me. I just wanted to remap one of my keys to take the place of the application key that was not on my keyboard. I also used it to turn my calf a key into a shift key so I didn't have to make that mistake ever again.
https://sharpkeys.codeplex.com/
It was really easy to figure out. Hopefully that would help.

Melissa
Sent from my iPhone

On Dec 15, 2016, at 5:23 PM, Robert Kingett <kingettr@...> wrote:

I have a System Model    HP 15 Notebook PC so I will do some digging. None of the CNA's and stuff are tech savy like I am so freak out when I want them to read stuff on the screen to me, such as BIOS. I will keep looking though!




Doug Lawlor
 

I would love to do this, but when I get passed the sign on screen nothing happens. NVDA attempts to load. Sometimes the try tone is heard and sometimes not. Narrator will not run when Windows+enter is pressed. 
It looks like I am going to be out of work until I can get this fixed. 

Doug


Douglas Lawlor


On Dec 15, 2016, at 6:26 PM, Melissa Jean <Melissa.J.Hammitt@...> wrote:

I do not know if this will work for you, but it worked for me. I just wanted to remap one of my keys to take the place of the application key that was not on my keyboard. I also used it to turn my calf a key into a shift key so I didn't have to make that mistake ever again.
https://sharpkeys.codeplex.com/
It was really easy to figure out. Hopefully that would help.

Melissa
Sent from my iPhone

On Dec 15, 2016, at 5:23 PM, Robert Kingett <kingettr@...> wrote:

I have a System Model    HP 15 Notebook PC so I will do some digging. None of the CNA's and stuff are tech savy like I am so freak out when I want them to read stuff on the screen to me, such as BIOS. I will keep looking though!




Gene
 

What do these problems have to do with the function key?  If you are describing some sort of connection, it isn't clear what it is.  All that the function key problem should do is make it necessary to hold the function key when you don't want it to be active.  It reverses the way the function key usually works.  In other words, it is now off when held instead of on.  But this has no connection I can see with any problems you are describing such as running Narrator or NVDA.  You may have other problems. 
 
Gene

----- Original Message -----
Sent: Thursday, December 15, 2016 7:09 PM
Subject: Re: [nvda] changing the function key

I would love to do this, but when I get passed the sign on screen nothing happens. NVDA attempts to load. Sometimes the try tone is heard and sometimes not. Narrator will not run when Windows+enter is pressed. 
It looks like I am going to be out of work until I can get this fixed. 

Doug


Douglas Lawlor


On Dec 15, 2016, at 6:26 PM, Melissa Jean <Melissa.J.Hammitt@...> wrote:

I do not know if this will work for you, but it worked for me. I just wanted to remap one of my keys to take the place of the application key that was not on my keyboard. I also used it to turn my calf a key into a shift key so I didn't have to make that mistake ever again.
https://sharpkeys.codeplex.com/
It was really easy to figure out. Hopefully that would help.

Melissa
Sent from my iPhone

On Dec 15, 2016, at 5:23 PM, Robert Kingett <kingettr@...> wrote:

I have a System Model    HP 15 Notebook PC so I will do some digging. None of the CNA's and stuff are tech savy like I am so freak out when I want them to read stuff on the screen to me, such as BIOS. I will keep looking though!




 

No not really you will need someone to go and change things for you, its one reason that I spend the cash on the toshiba, sadly they are dropping out of the home market so I will have to buy business units but oh well I am running a business entry level machine now.

On 16/12/2016 8:04 a.m., Robert Kingett wrote:
Hi all, I had a quick question. On my HP laptop the function keys are
defaulted to their media options, so if I want to hit shift F10, I have
to hit FN shift F10. Is there anyway I can change this without going
into the BIOS? I have no sighted person here to assist me with the BIOS
so is there a work around?


.


 

Just tell the people to read out things and tell what happens when you toggle them.
Its how I handled my uncle's del units, tweaking all their settings to optomise them.

On 16/12/2016 12:23 p.m., Robert Kingett wrote:
I have a System Model HP 15 Notebook PC so I will do some digging.
None of the CNA's and stuff are tech savy like I am so freak out when I
want them to read stuff on the screen to me, such as BIOS. I will keep
looking though!


.


 

Hmmm had this when someone mangled their user account, tried to move it to another location for their network and everything just didn't work at all!
Everything went and died, nothing worked.
I eventually was able to recreate the account, and copy everything back, then after reinstalling a few programs and killing the old account it worked, have you tried creating another account this is just weird,

On 16/12/2016 2:09 p.m., Douglas Lawlor wrote:
I would love to do this, but when I get passed the sign on screen nothing happens. NVDA attempts to load. Sometimes the try tone is heard and sometimes not. Narrator will not run when Windows+enter is pressed.
It looks like I am going to be out of work until I can get this fixed.

Doug


Douglas Lawlor
Email: douglawlor@me.com


On Dec 15, 2016, at 6:26 PM, Melissa Jean <Melissa.J.Hammitt@gmail.com> wrote:

I do not know if this will work for you, but it worked for me. I just wanted to remap one of my keys to take the place of the application key that was not on my keyboard. I also used it to turn my calf a key into a shift key so I didn't have to make that mistake ever again.
https://sharpkeys.codeplex.com/
It was really easy to figure out. Hopefully that would help.

Melissa
Sent from my iPhone

On Dec 15, 2016, at 5:23 PM, Robert Kingett <kingettr@gmail.com> wrote:

I have a System Model HP 15 Notebook PC so I will do some digging. None of the CNA's and stuff are tech savy like I am so freak out when I want them to read stuff on the screen to me, such as BIOS. I will keep looking though!


Brian's Mail list account <bglists@...>
 

This sort of thing catches many new users out, sadly it also seems that most of the big outlets have people iin them who glaze over when you ask this sort of question, like can I test my screenreader first and can you supply it with this function disabled as they have no idea it is even a feeature in the first place!

Brian

bglists@blueyonder.co.uk
Sent via blueyonder.
Please address personal email to:-
briang1@blueyonder.co.uk, putting 'Brian Gaff'
in the display name field.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Quentin Christensen" <quentin@nvaccess.org>
To: <nvda@nvda.groups.io>
Sent: Thursday, December 15, 2016 9:31 PM
Subject: Re: [nvda] changing the function key


Also the problem with taping the key down, is that for any other keys that
use Fn+key combinations, they will always act as if the key was down. it
also might not register properly when the machine restarts. It sounds like
it would be worth getting sighted help to get into the bios and change this
setting once and for all. At least, once it's done you can just use the PC
normally again.

On Fri, Dec 16, 2016 at 7:12 AM, Brian Vogel <britechguy@gmail.com> wrote:

Robert,

I know of no way to change this on HP hardware without going
into either UEFI or BIOS (depending on the age of the machine). This
feature is known as Action Keys. My laptop had this enabled and I promptly
disabled via the BIOS settings under UEFI. Under UEFI it's in the BIOS
settings, System Configuration settings and is enabled if you have to hit
Fn in order for the function key to act like a function key, not perform
the function shown on its icon.

There are some brands that have a way to do this via the user
interface. I can't find any for HP. Here's a link to their support page
<http://www.support.hp.com/us-en/document/c02035108/> giving details on
how to turn it off via BIOS for machines from the straight BIOS era. It's
virtually identical under UEFI once you know where to look, which I
mentioned above.
--
*Brian*

* Life is the art of drawing sufficient conclusions from **insufficient
premises.*

* ~ Samuel Butler, 1835-1902*







--
Quentin Christensen
Training Material Developer
Basic Training for NVDA & Microsoft Word with NVDA E-Books now available:
http://www.nvaccess.org/shop/

Ph +61 7 3149 3306
Direct: +61 413 904 383
www.nvaccess.org
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/NVAccess
Twitter: @NVAccess


ADRIAN POCOCK
 

you could try a program called sharpkeys which is free to redefine a key like scroll lock key to perform the required action.


David <trailerdavid@...>
 

In case this is of any comfort to you, smile, you are not the only one
to be frustrated about the scenario you experience.


Several months ago, I ended up with a laptop exhibiting the same kind of
issue. That too, was an HP.


I have searched the net, have asked around, and it is all in vain. Only
way I am aware of, is to go into BIOS - and when you have no eyes to
assist you, learn to deal with the new key-layout. Sorry, but even
sighted people complain about the inconveniences caused. And many of
them are either not familiar with BIOS modification, or are afraid to
even consider trying.


Until the day the manufacturers would let us do the swapping of
key-layouts through some kind of accessible software, I am afraid the
shortest answer to your query has already been given, it is a loud and
clear NO. From what I learn, seemingly certain manufacturers have
provided pieces of software to do the swap, but only for their own brand
and models.


OK, one last resort, which I have not tried, but which should work. You
could get hold of a key-remapper. That is, a tiny software that will let
you remap any key, or combination, on your keyboard. You then would have
to remap the FN-combos to work as media-keys, and the normal keys to
work as normal. With some scripting insight, you might be able to build
a small key-remapper yourself. AutoHotkey, script development tool,
might be one such lane to follow. Never worked under python, but if it
can be done there, may be some kind of an idea for an
NVDA addon.


My personal solution, might not be the most adviceable for a normal
budget, but I ended up parking the whole computer, and getting hold of
something that works the good old way.


OK, should I leave you one extra advice? Do you have any computer shop
nearby? If so, try bring your laptop there, and explain to them what you
cannot do due to being blind. Perhaps you even could find the
instructions on how to remedy the situation, on the net, and have them
printed out. Then, ask the personel in the store,if they could please
give you a hand, in changing that one setting in the BIOS. IF they are
anything familiar with computers, it should be possible for them to do
it in less than a minute. Smile nicely, and see if they could do it for you.


It is my understanding, that the modern BIOS setup, is much like most
graphical, mouse-operated screens. So if you have any computer person in
amongst your friends, and you look up the instructions on how to do the
job, even that might be a solution. From what I can read, it is only one
simple setting that needs be changed.


Sorry, I could not be more uplifting on the matter.

On 12/15/2016 8:04 PM, Robert Kingett wrote:
Hi all, I had a quick question. On my HP laptop the function keys are
defaulted to their media options, so if I want to hit shift F10, I
have to hit FN shift F10. Is there anyway I can change this without
going into the BIOS? I have no sighted person here to assist me with
the BIOS so is there a work around?



.


Rui Fontes
 

The only company I know allowing to change some BIOS settings bia software is Toshiba...
There are more?

Rui


-----Mensagem Original-----
De: David
Data: 16 de dezembro de 2016 11:23
Para: nvda@nvda.groups.io
Assunto: Re: [nvda] changing the function key

In case this is of any comfort to you, smile, you are not the only one
to be frustrated about the scenario you experience.


Several months ago, I ended up with a laptop exhibiting the same kind of
issue. That too, was an HP.


I have searched the net, have asked around, and it is all in vain. Only
way I am aware of, is to go into BIOS - and when you have no eyes to
assist you, learn to deal with the new key-layout. Sorry, but even
sighted people complain about the inconveniences caused. And many of
them are either not familiar with BIOS modification, or are afraid to
even consider trying.


Until the day the manufacturers would let us do the swapping of
key-layouts through some kind of accessible software, I am afraid the
shortest answer to your query has already been given, it is a loud and
clear NO. From what I learn, seemingly certain manufacturers have
provided pieces of software to do the swap, but only for their own brand
and models.


OK, one last resort, which I have not tried, but which should work. You
could get hold of a key-remapper. That is, a tiny software that will let
you remap any key, or combination, on your keyboard. You then would have
to remap the FN-combos to work as media-keys, and the normal keys to
work as normal. With some scripting insight, you might be able to build
a small key-remapper yourself. AutoHotkey, script development tool,
might be one such lane to follow. Never worked under python, but if it
can be done there, may be some kind of an idea for an
NVDA addon.


My personal solution, might not be the most adviceable for a normal
budget, but I ended up parking the whole computer, and getting hold of
something that works the good old way.


OK, should I leave you one extra advice? Do you have any computer shop
nearby? If so, try bring your laptop there, and explain to them what you
cannot do due to being blind. Perhaps you even could find the
instructions on how to remedy the situation, on the net, and have them
printed out. Then, ask the personel in the store,if they could please
give you a hand, in changing that one setting in the BIOS. IF they are
anything familiar with computers, it should be possible for them to do
it in less than a minute. Smile nicely, and see if they could do it for you.


It is my understanding, that the modern BIOS setup, is much like most
graphical, mouse-operated screens. So if you have any computer person in
amongst your friends, and you look up the instructions on how to do the
job, even that might be a solution. From what I can read, it is only one
simple setting that needs be changed.


Sorry, I could not be more uplifting on the matter.

On 12/15/2016 8:04 PM, Robert Kingett wrote:
Hi all, I had a quick question. On my HP laptop the function keys are
defaulted to their media options, so if I want to hit shift F10, I
have to hit FN shift F10. Is there anyway I can change this without
going into the BIOS? I have no sighted person here to assist me with
the BIOS so is there a work around?



.


David <trailerdavid@...>
 

Not really so true.


If my FN-key is pressed, and I hit letters J, K and L, they act as Numpad 1, 2 and 3 - and so forth. That means, the FN-key taped, you could not even write a normal text. Turning off the Numlock, which would be something like FN-F8, things would go even more crazy, as now the letters would work as Object-operators in NVDA.


In very short terms, taping the FN-key, is the least effecient way of all. Sorry.




On 12/15/2016 11:02 PM, Gene wrote:
As I understand it, the problem you describe won't occur.  When the fn key is down, it is equivalent to it being up under traditional operation.  I haven't heard that the effect of this change is limited to specific keys.  Indeed, I heard someone say, on another list, that they couldn't use alt f4 under this change because f4 was being treated as a function key combination.  As far as restart is concerned, I have no idea if there will be any effect. 
 
Gene
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Thursday, December 15, 2016 3:31 PM
Subject: Re: [nvda] changing the function key

Also the problem with taping the key down, is that for any other keys that use Fn+key combinations, they will always act as if the key was down.  it also might not register properly when the machine restarts.  It sounds like it would be worth getting sighted help to get into the bios and change this setting once and for all.  At least, once it's done you can just use the PC normally again.

On Fri, Dec 16, 2016 at 7:12 AM, Brian Vogel <britechguy@...> wrote:

Robert,

          I know of no way to change this on HP hardware without going into either UEFI or BIOS (depending on the age of the machine).  This feature is known as Action Keys.  My laptop had this enabled and I promptly disabled via the BIOS settings under UEFI.  Under UEFI it's in the BIOS settings, System Configuration settings and is enabled if you have to hit Fn in order for the function key to act like a function key, not perform the function shown on its icon.

          There are some brands that have a way to do this via the user interface.  I can't find any for HP.  Here's a link to their support page giving details on how to turn it off via BIOS for machines from the straight BIOS era.  It's virtually identical under UEFI once you know where to look, which I mentioned above.
--
Brian

 Life is the art of drawing sufficient conclusions from insufficient premises.

         ~ Samuel Butler, 1835-1902

    





--
Quentin Christensen
Training Material Developer
Basic Training for NVDA & Microsoft Word with NVDA E-Books now available: http://www.nvaccess.org/shop/

Direct: +61 413 904 383
www.nvaccess.org 
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/NVAccess 
Twitter: @NVAccess