Updated (2023) Setup instructions for the SpaceSaver M and the New Model M for Mac keyboards


Your SpaceSaver M (SSM) or New Model M for Mac (NMM4M) merges the Unicomp Buckling Spring Keyboard technology with some of the features of Apple keyboards and MacOS.  The most apparent of these features is the dual mode function buttons across the top row of the keyboard—a selection of media control functions as well as the function keys F1-F15.  To get the most from your keyboard, please review the instructions below.

The top row of buttons on your keyboard operates in two modes.  The default mode is to enable F1 – F15 as the functions assigned to those buttons.  This mode is active when the Fcn LED is on.  The alternate mode provides a set of media related functions that are hopefully self-explanatory from the symbols on the buttons.  The media keys are programmed with the assumption that MacOS has the default set of Keyboard Shortcuts assigned.  Esc, F5,F6, and F15 are the exceptions to the statement.  The function of these four keys matches the function printed on the key regardless of the mode.  The mode of the top row of keys can toggle between function keys and media keys by depressing and holding the Function key on the bottom row.  Note the FCN LED indicates the current mode of the keyboard.   

Some Apple branded keyboards have this dual mode capability as well.  In those cases, MacOS provides a locking function which will lock the top row in the with F1-F15 as active.  This function is selected with a checkbox shown at System Preferences>Keyboard>Keyboard Short Cuts > Function keys.  When  the Unicomp keyboard is connected, the checkbox is grayed out and the checkbox cannot be selected.  Regardless, the function is not available because there is no way for the Unicomp keyboard to advise MacOS that it has a dual mode capability.   However, the user can toggle and lock the mode of the by depressing the Shift key (left or right) followed by the Function key.  Again, you will note when you release the keys, the Fcn LED will indicate the new state of the top row of buttons.  The keyboard can be temporarily toggle the state of the top row by depressing and holding the Fcn key down and the Fcn LED will indicate the new temporary state.  Releasing the Function key will allow the row to revert to its original state. 


System update notes:

Since OSX 10.6 ( Snow Leopard), several different operating systems functions have been defined to show the applications available in the system and which applications are active.  Mission Control and LaunchPad are the current functions for that purpose.  We have placed Mission Control on the same button as F3.  Assuming the MacOS default keyboard shortcuts are in place, Mission Control can executed by depressing that button while the keyboard is in media mode (Fcn LED off).  We also have placed LaunchPad on the keyboard just to the right of the Delete key.  For this button to execute LaunchPad, please go into Keyboard Shortcuts and make sure F9 is assigned to the LaunchPad function. 


Based on customer recommendations, we added two Screenshot functions to the media functions on the top row.  “Save picture of screen as a file” and “Save picture of selected area as a file”  functions have been added to the top row on buttons F13 and F14, respectively.   Holding the Control key down while selecting either of these functions will move the screenshot to the clipboard instead of saving to a file.

Hopefully, you will enjoy your new Unicomp keyboard for macOS.  If you have any questions or recommendations, please contact us at support.pckeyboard.com