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.

OSX Keyboard-Shortcut System Preferences

From the Application dropdown select Keynote, as Menu Title enter “Play Slideshow” (or whatever the Keynote’s menu entry is labelled on your system), and in the Keyboard Shortcut input press F5.

Create Shortcut Dialog

There’s also a way to get the blank-screen button to work, using a little app called Ukulele. I don’t currently plan on using this, so I didn’t try. Tell me, if you do and if it works!

  1. Forum post became unavailable.