I'm getting used to working on a MacBook Air this week and find myself wondering if I can systematically change the default system shortcuts to use the power button as a direct substitution for the shortcuts that employed the eject key on previous keyboards.

I figure there is a really good reason why Apple didn't just enable this by default, but it would be nice to use the one such combination that I am most familiar with:

control + shift + eject which shuts off the main display immediately

An answer that addresses this one issue narrowly would be great if there is a longer wait for a more general, comprehensive answer.

  • I assume you've tried the hot-corner option for putting your display to sleep?
    – rm -rf
    Commented Mar 31, 2012 at 20:30
  • Is this purely to make muscle memory finger trouble easier and stop you hitting power instead of eject by accident?
    – stuffe
    Commented Mar 31, 2012 at 20:31
  • I find the only hot corner I can tolerate is the show- desktop for the top right corner since I never actually use spotlight by pointer and rely solely on the keyboard to start typing there. The other corners are hit often and I find actions there disruptive. I'll consider re-using my only corner for this and let you know if it's a good solution. I bet I can train myself to use the other multitouch gesture for that function over a short time. Also, hot corners do not work in full screen mode whereas keyboard shortcuts do.
    – bmike
    Commented Mar 31, 2012 at 20:50

2 Answers 2


The most comprehensive package for remapping the keyboard is KeyRemap4MacBook.

It's a bit complex, but will allow you to do almost anything.

  • 1
    Ugh - software that forces a reboot and doesn't have an uninstal option. Two points off in my book, but I'll check it out nonetheless. Does this actually work for the specific issue on MacBook Air keyboard?
    – bmike
    Commented Mar 31, 2012 at 20:54
  • In it's defense, it does look amazingly powerful and once you do install and reboot, it has an uninstaller that you can then launch to clean things up. I don't see any way for that software to map the power key as it doesn't show up in the events log as a key being pressed since the system gets the key presses before this app does. I'd love someone to explain a little how to use this to solve the problem posed - just not something that is obvious or a pre-defined setting.
    – bmike
    Commented Mar 31, 2012 at 21:11

It has been possible to substitute the power key for eject since 10.8. It also works with MacBook Pros and other shortcuts like ⌥⌘⏏.

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