Dispatches, thoughts, and miscellanea from writer Jon Konrath

FrameMaker key annoyance solved

I always vow to write down the small annoyances I solve, so that a) I can look them up in three years when they happen again and I’ve completely forgotten the solution; and b) so people googling might get lucky and find the answer.  So here goes.

In FrameMaker, you can do a million things using weird, barely-documented keyboard shortcuts.  One of the most frequent combos is using F8 or F9 and then typing the first few letters of a character style or paragraph style to apply it, instead of opening up a dialog and picking it from a list.  That’s great, especially when you’re importing a Word document and you have tons of ugly font fondling to undo, because 95% of Word’s users manually override styles and apply font changes by hand.

But I’ve noticed lately that I get in a weird state where the F8 and F9 keys stop working.  This is a new laptop, new job, new docset, new Frame install, and it’s my first shot at using FM9.  So I went nuts trying various combinations of turning on and off those stupid pods and docks and panels and dialogs and other crap they added to this version, with no joy.  I also tried googling, and couldn’t find much.

I’ll cut to the chase: I’m using one of those Microsoft ergo keyboards with a ton of extra keys for doing a web search (sorry, a “Bing” search…), controlling the media player, opening the calculator, and so on.  And next to all of those function keys is a little key called “F-lock”.  I don’t entirely know what it does, something like turn on a second set of keymappings or some other thing I’ll never use.  What it does do is mess up your keyboard, at least function key-wise.  And I somehow was randomly hitting it.  (It’s located to the right of the F12 key, at least on my setup.)

So yeah, hit that key again, and you’ll be fine.  End of digression about FrameMaker annoyance.