Lyle Schofield's Technical Journal

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Disabling Caps Lock Key in OS X

23 January, 2014 (14:37) | Hardware, Software | By: Lyle

I don’t see much of a need for a caps lock key.  It’s pretty rare for me to need to type a continuous string of upper case letters, I don’t think I can remember needing this unless I rewind the memory tapes all the way back to terminal sessions where the application or compiler didn’t recognize lower case characters.  And, how long ago is that?  VMS v5 or something?  Way, way back.

So, no need for a keyboard with a caps lock key.  However, the caps lock key is still there like a useless partial rib.  And, it only comes into play when I accidentally hit it while reaching for the “A” key.  I was wishing there was a way to disable it, and keyboards don’t seem to be built in a way where you can pry off the key caps with scissors.  In a pure “duh” moment, I went into the keyboard preferences and found that OS X provides a mapping function for all the modifier keys.

Screen Shot of OS X Preference App for "Keyboard"

Screen Shot of OS X Preference App for "Keyboard"

Caps Lock is sitting there as a choice, and the pull down lets you remap this to another modifier function for real fun, or just disable it like I did.  Caps Lock on my keyboard is now truly a useless appendage.

The only lost function was that Caps Lock was the key I used to verify that the keyboard was correctly connected to the computer through either the USB cable or Bluetooth connection.  This is the only key on a normal Apple keyboard with an LED that activates when you press it, which is very useful for figuring out if the keyboard is really plugged in or that its batteries are working.

Happy again, and no more ACCIDENTALLY SHOUTING in messages to anyone.  One of these days I should go through all the OS X preferences and see if there are other controls for the little things that bug me.

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