Logitech r400 Wireless Presenter

I just bought a Logitech r400 to escape pressing the arrow keys on my keyboard during presentations. [Logitech officially says that the presenter only works under Windows]1 and is specifically designed for Power Point. However, I found it works perfectly under OSX and, with a little tuning, also with Keynote.

Plugging in the USB connector into my MacBook made the keyboard recognition pop up. You cannot do anything there but close it. I guess this little nuisance is the price I have to pay for using only-Windows hardware on a Mac…

Powerpoint (Office for Mac 2011)

The presenter works like a charm with Powerpoint for Mac. Starting and stopping the presentation, moving back and forth through the slides, and blank-out the screen all function correctly.

Keynote (6.6.11 on El Capitan)

After starting the presentation manually, moving back and forth worked instantly. The back-screen button immediately ends the presentation. The start/end-presentation button doesn’t do a thing. So far so good, but we can do better.

From the fact that the keyboard recognition popped up when I connect the USB connector I took that the presenter is essentially a keyboard to OSX. This means that it is sending key codes to the OS. Key codes can be mapped. A little searching brought me the answer. The r400’s buttons are indeed mapped to the following key codes:

  • Left Button -> Page Up
  • Right Button -> Page Down
  • Start/End-Presentation Button -> F5
  • Blank-Screen Button -> . (period)

So all we need for the buttons to correctly control Keynote is configure shortcuts from the key codes to the correct functionality: Go to System Preferences > Keboard > Shortcuts, select the App Shortcuts group and press the +-button to create a new shortcut.

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