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

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.


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