Tips: How to remap command, control, escape, and other keys in macOS Sierra

Posted:
in General Discussion edited October 2016
macOS Sierra has ushered in a number of new changes for Mac users, including the ability to remap the modifier keys, like the escape, control, command, or option keys to another hardware button. Here's how to do it.




The remapping ability isn't necessarily new to macOS 10.12.1. You could previously remap the functions for the caps lock, control, option, or command keys. It is, however, the first time that you can remap the Escape key without using a third-party utility.

This could come in handy for users who would like to keep the hardware ability to map the escape key to a different, less used mechanical key, rather than a touch action, if the rumors about the OLED Magic Toolbar replacing the hardware F-keys on the new MacBook Pros are true.

How to remap the Escape to a hardware key in 4 Steps

To remap the Escape key to another hardware key:
    1. Open System Preferences and find Keyboard.

    2. Select the Modifier Keys option located in the bottom right corner.

    3. Select the drop down box that is next to the hardware key that you'd like to remap. Then select Escape.

    4. Finally, click OK then close System Preferences.
Remapping function keys can come in handy for a variety of reasons. Third-party keyboards often aren't oriented well for Mac users, and the ability to swap the Windows key and the alt key on the keyboard can be helpful. Also, if you never actually use the large caps lock key, you can now make it useful by making it an escape key.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 10
    And of course if the new MacBook Pro announced tomorrow does away with the top row of the keyboard this would be a handy way to remap the Esc key....
  • Reply 2 of 10
    sog35 said:
    Why don't Mac's have backspace and delete keys? that really sucks
    delete = backspace
    fn + delete = delete (forward)
    indyfxbestkeptsecreturahara
  • Reply 3 of 10
    Yeah, and why don't they have Insert, Home, Page Up, Page Down, Print Screen/SysRq, Scroll Lock, Num Lock, and Pause/Break keys either!?? Granted, the "[forward] delete" key is more useful than any of those, but it's still rather obscure. Apple had to draw the line somewhere (unlike sheep like Dell, etc.).
  • Reply 4 of 10
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 2,407member
    The wonderful Ukelele keyboard remapping app puts an Escape key where I want it. It does so by modifying a keyboard resource, not by patching macOS.
  • Reply 5 of 10
    sog35 said:
    I hate where the control key is on Mac's

    makes it so hard to copy and paste

    sog35 said:
    Why don't Mac's have backspace and delete keys? that really sucks
    Hey Sog! Why would you use the Control and not the Command key? Btw, would you like some shortcut keys? https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201236
  • Reply 6 of 10
    kirkgray said:
    sog35 said:
    Why don't Mac's have backspace and delete keys? that really sucks
    delete = backspace
    fn + delete = delete (forward)

    7 years with a Mac and I never knew about fn + delete!! Thanks!!
  • Reply 7 of 10
    macOS Sierra has ushered in a number of new changes for Mac users, including the ability to remap the modifier keys, like the escape, control, command, or option keys to another hardware button.
    Um, no. This has been around as long as I can remember in OS X. Anybody got 10.0 or 10.1 laying around? You know, I think it might also be in OS 9- too.

    This is what we've always used when we have a keyboard designed for WinPC hooked up to our Macs. Otherwise your thumbs have to become contortionists to reach Command.
    edited October 2016
  • Reply 8 of 10
    rufwork said:
    macOS Sierra has ushered in a number of new changes for Mac users, including the ability to remap the modifier keys, like the escape, control, command, or option keys to another hardware button.
    Um, no. This has been around as long as I can remember in OS X. Anybody got 10.0 or 10.1 laying around? You know, I think it might also be in OS 9- too.

    This is what we've always used when we have a keyboard designed for WinPC hooked up to our Macs. Otherwise your thumbs have to become contortionists to reach Command.
    Since Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger as I recall, when Apple started selling the Mac mini without keyboard included. So most users with Windows keyboard would probably want to remap Command and Option key. 

    Mapping to Esc or "No action" is new in Sierra tho.
    edited October 2016
  • Reply 9 of 10
    uraharaurahara Posts: 171member
    Why do Macs don't have CTRL+ALT+DELETE?
    :)
Sign In or Register to comment.