Fix Capslock Key

Change Caps-Lock to Control, Scroll-Lock to Caps-Lock

The capslock (or caps lock) key was a good idea back in the days of typewriters, where ALL-CAPS and underlining were the only forms of emphasis available. Thanks to nothing but useless tradition, we still have a rarely-needed Caps Lock in a prime position right next to A — and a frequently used Control key way down in the lower-left corner, where common operations like Select All, Save, Copy, and Paste force us to awkwardly twist the left hand 90 degrees counter-clockwise to get the little finger way down to the control key.

The other problem we all know well: being oversized and right next to both Shift and A, wE eND uP wITH rEVERSED-cASE!

The Caps Lock Fix (W7-8)

So let’s fix the infamous cAPSLOCK key. The following registry edit will move the CapsLock to ScrollLock, then make the CapsLock key another Left Control key. I like this fix because (1) I like the Control key where the CapsLock key is, (2) I never use ScrollLock (who does?), and (3) I rarely ever use CapsLock, but at least it’s still on the keyboard, and well out harm’s way.

Windows has a little-known feature known as a scancode map. It’s intended, I suppose, to only be used by keyboard re-mapping software, but if you can figure out how it works you can craft your own custom re-map.

Regedit and navigate to: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Keyboard Layout. Right-click it and select New, Binary Value and then name it Scancode Map. Now edit the new Scancode Map key and put this hex in the Edit Bianry Value dialog:

00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
03 00 00 00 1D 00 3A 00
3A 00 46 00 00 00 00 00

Close everything then reboot (or just log off/on) to make it load the new keymapping.

Now you can start enjoying keyboard shortcuts a lot more, since the Control key is now in an easy-to-use position! But if you don’t like it, you can undo it by deleting the Scancode Map key you made, or (better) rename it to something else like Scancode Map(disabled).

How to make Shift unlock CapsLock

Why computer keyboards don’t do this is a complete mystery — this is one typewriter tradition they should have kept, so of course they dropped it.

This is an easy registry edit. Run regedit and navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Keyboard Layout. Right-click it and select New, DWORD. Name it Attributes. Double-click Attributes to edit it, and in the Edit DWORD (32-bit) Value dialog box, put 10000 in, with Base set to Hexadecimal.

Close everything then reboot (or just log off/on). Now when you turn on CapsLock, hitting Shift will turn it off, like a typewriter. Note that this may be problematic if you use all-caps a lot (i.e., some legal documents require it), because when you hit Shift for punctuation symbols, you’ll unintentionally cancel CapsLock.

—KV5R

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