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Linked apps and open program windows can be selected via the macOS dock. In addition, the Launchpad and the Trash can be opened via the Mac dock. But what if the mouse doesn't work or the trackpad refuses to work? Well, in this case you can Use the macOS Dock with the keyboard. In this guide I have summarized how you can navigate in the Mac Dock using a key combination and how to control individual apps, the Launchpad and the Trash folder without a mouse.
Using the Mac Dock with the keyboard: Here's how!
To use the dock without a mouse and trackpad, all you need is a small key combination that is easy to remember: control + F3. However, if you are working on the MacBook or using an external Apple keyboard, the function keys may execute certain system commands. In this case, you also press the fn key to use the secondary assignment of the function keys (i.e. the regular F assignment): control + fn + F3. If you use a Windows keyboard on a Mac, iMac or MacBook like I do, the fn key is omitted, but instead of the control key you press Ctrl + F3. Here's a little clearer:
- Apple or MacBook keyboard: control + fn + F3 (^+fn+F3)
- Apple keyboard without second assignment of the F-keys: control + F3 (^+F3)
- Windows keyboard with single function keys: Ctrl + F3
If you have used the shortcut to call up the dock, you will already see that the first icon is highlighted in color and the program name appears above it (see above). To navigate to the desired tile and interact with it, use the left and right arrow keys and Enter on the keyboard. Use the arrow keys to select the tile whose App or folder you want to go to, and then press Enter. The corresponding window will open. In order to be able to use the menus of the menu bar in turn, take a look at these instructions: Without a mouse and trackpad - Use the Mac menu and menu bar with the keyboard.
Assign Mac function keys differently: F functions instead of system functions
If you don't use the printed functions of the F-keys, which affect the MacBook or macOS, you can also give them their pure F-functions for the system and apps. Instead of display brightness, volume, media control and the like, the keys then become F1, F2, F3, F4 and so on. If you then want to use the other function, you have to press the fn key as well. To change the whole thing, open the system settings, click on the keyboard and then check the "Use the keys F1, F2, etc. as standard function keys" checkbox in the "Keyboard" tab. Then you save yourself with the above shortcut pressing the fn key.
- Simone Ochsenkühn (Author)
After graduating from high school, Johannes completed an apprenticeship as a business assistant specializing in foreign languages. But then he decided to research and write, which resulted in his independence. For several years he has been working for Sir Apfelot, among others. His articles include product introductions, news, manuals, video games, consoles, and more. He follows Apple keynotes live via stream.
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