No Escape key on OLED MacBook Pro? Sierra lets you remap its function to a modifier key

By , Oct 26, 2016

With less than 24 hours away until Apple’s “Hello again” Mac event, images of an unreleased MacBook Pro found in the latest macOS Sierra 10.12.1 update have all but confirmed a rumored OLED touch bar replacing the row with hardware function keys.

The Internet immediately complained about the apparent loss of the hardware Escape key that seems to have fallen victim to these programmable OLED keys. While the OLED Bar could display a soft-Escape key in the left corner, users can now assign its function to one of the hardware modifier keys.

As Jeff Geerling first noted yesterday, the latest macOS 10.12.1 Sierra update now conveniently lets you remap an Escape action to a Caps Lock, Control, Option or Command modifier key—which wasn’t possible in earlier macOS editions.

Before macOS 10.12.1 Sierra, you couldn’t remap any of the hardware modifier keys— Caps Lock (⇪), Control (⌃), Option (⌥) and Command (⌘)—with a Caps Lock, Control, Option or Command action, but not the hardware Escape key.

As previously mentioned, the latest macOS 10.12.1 Sierra update has added a brand new Escape action to the list of modifier keys. The macOS screenshot below shows remapping the Caps Lock modifier key with a newly added Escape action.

remapping-escape-key-to-caps-lock-key

Apple’s keyboard graphics in macOS 10.12.1 Sierra is a sign that the next MacBook Pro does have an OLED touch bar in place of the function keys, which may be called “Magic Toolbar”.

The notebook is also expected to have Touch ID built into the Power button. The photo top of post shows how to use Touch ID to authenticate an online purchase via Apple Pay.

Other rumored MacBook Pro features include a thinner and lighter appearance, Intel’s Skylake processors with faster graphics, USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 ports and the same low-profile keys like on the new MacBook, to mention but a few.

Apple is expected to refresh both the 13 and 15-inch MacBook Pro at tomorrow’s event while unveiling a new 13-inch MacBook model and possibly other hardware.

Source: Jeff Geerling

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  • Robert Mathews

    I really hope that the AirPods get released in stores tomorrow. I can’t wait to buy them!

    • MMA Rules

      Me too! I own a pair of Bose SoundSport Bluetooth which by the way they sound amazing and they are a little frustrating, 1- because sometimes they disconnect and I have to go into settings and connect them again and most of the time I use only one when I’m in bed and I walk around my apartment with one wire tangling around! I’m so excited for this new technology, W1 chip!

    • ready1take1

      not happening this month. Apple just announced they’re delaying the launch

    • MadeInNY

      Nope, Apple says they need more time. 🙁

    • Robert Mathews

      Well that totally stinks. I’m really looking forward to them.

      • Fraas

        they lost it

  • Apple is doomed, there’s no escape.

    • Rowan09
    • Ángel Javier Esquivel

      [GOLD]

    • MadeInNY

      I’ve heard that before.

  • tjedison

    I’m not sure if there is a real touch-id sensor, like everyone assumes, or if the action in the photo just contacts your phone for the purchase (like Apple Pay does now).

    • MadeInNY

      That makes no sense. Why press there? Why not press an on screen button, or any other key to be backwards compatible?

    • Kappamello

      The leaked photos show that there is a color difference where the touch ID sensor is, which suggests that it is indeed a real touch ID sensor, but only on the right side.

  • Can you try clearing your cache & website data in Safari and see if it does the trick? Please keep me posted. Thanks

    • triggerhappypunk

      that did the trick, thank you!

  • smtp25

    Seriously apple WTF!?! Why are they continuingly dropping standardised features 3.5mm, ESC key?, USB Port?

    • MadeInNY

      ESC is actually useful on macOS. If you have ever dragged an icon and had second thoughts about dropping it, just tap ESC and it’ll cancel the operation.

      • Tich

        I didn’t know that. Thanks

  • drno

    now they are taking away keys? wow. big iCourage!