Fist of Senn

a developer's notebook

Take Ctrl Over Your Caps Lock

For a long time I wondered if there actually is a usage for the “Caps Lock” key on your keyboard. This big key, in the perfect spot for your left hand pinky finger, is just waiting to be pressed by ACCIDENT.

When I picked up Emacs four years ago the time has come to put that key to use. The way Emacs is designed you find yourself hitting Ctrl very frequently. Instead of twisting your pinky finger to reach down for the Ctrl key just rebind Caps Lock to Ctrl. After a few days you’ll be wondering why you didn’t do this years ago.

How to do it?


Open your “Keyboard” in your System Preferences. Then you need to click on “Modifier Keys” and select Ctrl from the Dropdown. Done!

Remap Caps Lock to Ctrl


Back in the days when I had to use Windows I created this replace_caps.reg file:


[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Keyboard Layout]
"Scancode Map"=hex:00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,02,00,00,00,1d,00,3a,00,00,00,00,00

Since this was Windows XP I have no clue if it is still working (I highly doubt it). If you happen to have a new version of Windows installed and know how to rebind Caps Lock please leave a comment so that I can update the blog post.