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This question already has an answer here:

The question is in the title.

I just upgraded an office from older keyboards which were starting to fail from overuse.

The new K235 units have a nice feel and am hearing no complaints about the decision to go with this less-expensive model.

But I am getting some grumbling from some people that the new ones do not have a caps lock light.

(They don't appreciate my telling them that I merely removed that keycap from mine).

Almost every day I hear about someone who was touch-typing only to discover they had bumped the caps lock key and then had to go back and retype what they had just finished.

So is there a way I can help these hard workers?

marked as duplicate by Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007, DavidPostill, Run5k, music2myear, fixer1234 Mar 9 '17 at 7:20

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

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Software

You can have them install Keyboard LEDs system tray icon, which will display the status of their caps/num/scroll lock keys.

Hardware

You can shop for another keyboard, or get a dedicated caps lock light (seems like a waste of cabling / desk space to me though, plus it's an additional purchase that might be more expensive than replacing your keyboards.)

User Training

Tell users to quit looking at the keys and learn how to touch type! Touch typing is so much better in so many ways. It's faster, more comfortable, and you can see the results of your input instantly, instead of typing several sentences or paragraphs and THEN looking. If you're touch typing, you rarely even notice the little caps lock light, because your hand/fingers tends to cover it up.

If while touch typing you make a mistake and activate caps lock by accident, you'll notice it right away because you're looking at every character you produce as you produce them, and might type maybe a couple characters in caps before you realize it, delete, and re-type... much, much less re-work than if you were typing by looking at the keys!

Time Travel

Before buying a bunch of keyboards for an office and rolling them out, buy a small number of them and get a focus group of users to test them out, make sure they have the features and ergonomics desired. Hopefully any major complaints like this would be worked out during the testing.

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    YES! Just the sound alone is enough to do the trick. Thank you! – SDsolar Mar 6 '17 at 22:18
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    @SDsolar I wonder if you meant to accept or comment on Service Manager's answer since this answer doesn't mention anything about a sound. – Kodos Johnson Mar 7 '17 at 6:43
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    Clearly you haven't installed this software. Yes, it puts a flag on the screen, but more importantly it beeps when you touch that key. For people looking at documents and not at their screens, that sound is perfect. Then when they glance up they can see why it beeped. It is an awesome program. Much better than a caps lock light on the keyboard because they're not looking there, either. These are real workers. – SDsolar Mar 7 '17 at 8:18
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    "Tell users to learn to touch type" Learning is a time-consuming process and will slow them down at first on top of the time spent doing typing exercises. The OP probably doesn't have the authority to require this in company time, they certainly don't have the authority to tell people to learn a new skill on their own time. – Chris H Mar 7 '17 at 9:25
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    Nitpick: "you rarely even notice the little caps lock light, because your hand/fingers tends to cover it up". Except on laptops and similar compact designs, where they're sometimes built into the key cap, the lock lights on all the keyboards I've ever used are at the top right above the number pad. Unless you're typing upside down, there's no chance of those being covered up while typing. In fact, that's probably why they put them there. – IMSoP Mar 7 '17 at 9:34
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Assuming that your co-workers are using Windows 7, 8/8.1, or 10, you can enable a notification for when Caps lock (as well as Num and Scroll locks) are pressed. To do this:

  1. Open up Control Panel.

  2. Go to Ease of Access Center.

  3. Make the keyboard easier to use.

  4. Check the "Turn on Toggle Keys" check box.

  5. Click "Apply", then "OK".

After that, they will hear a tone when those buttons are pressed.

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    I didn't know that. Thank you for the info. – SDsolar Mar 7 '17 at 8:22
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    This has the advantage that nothing needs to be installed. If you want a shortcut, press Win+U to open the Ease of Access centre. – user483996 Mar 7 '17 at 16:28
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    A nice elegant solution did not know about the tone on this either. – GMasucci Mar 8 '17 at 16:25
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  1. Add your own CapsLock indicator. Install AutoHotkey, it's a general keyboard automation program, could be greatly useful for automatically expanding short forms of words, adding keyboard shortcuts to programs, etc.

Then edit the config and add something like :

$CapsLock::
SoundBeep, 440,500       
SoundBeep, 440,500 
SoundBeep, 440,500        
SoundBeep, 349,350        
SoundBeep, 523,150        
SoundBeep, 440,500        
SoundBeep, 349,350        
SoundBeep, 523,150        
SoundBeep, 440,1000 
SoundBeep, 659,500        
SoundBeep, 659,500        
SoundBeep, 659,500        
SoundBeep, 698,350        
SoundBeep, 523,150        
SoundBeep, 415,500        
SoundBeep, 349,350        
SoundBeep, 523,150        
SoundBeep, 440,1000
Send {CapsLock}
return

Now every time they press capslock, they get a rousing StarWars Imperial March audio to let them know.

Should that ever get tiresome, you could replace it with any helpful thing the people wanted - launch a program, run a script, play a sound file, blink the screen, shake a window around, change a colour somewhere, anything from the AutoHotkey command list or any program or script it can launch or any Win32api function it can call.

  1. Almost every day I hear about someone who was touch-typing only to discover they had bumped the caps lock key and then had to go back and retype what they had just finished.

Seriously though, this is a sign of miserably, depressingly weak tools or lack of IT training / exploration. Any text editor worth its salt can swap the case of selected text.

The worst it should be is a copy/paste to a good editor and back again, not a retyping. (And that copy-paste, change-case, copy-paste could be automated with AutoHotkey).

  • Upvote for the Star Wars tie-in. – SDsolar Mar 8 '17 at 6:28
  • Yes the Force is strong with this one... – micstr Mar 8 '17 at 17:50
  • +1 for not retyping stuff just because of case. – njzk2 Mar 8 '17 at 22:25
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You could disable Caps Lock, or convert it to be a shift key using a registry entry.

KeyTweak will do it with a GUI, but its help file details the registry key you'd need to edit, which could make roll out faster.

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    That would be evil. Part numnbers often have to be typed in all uppercase; even some forms require large amounts of uppercase. Some touch typists are/were taught to use CapsLock,<letter>,CapsLock instead of Shift+<letter> for ergonomic reasons – Chris H Mar 7 '17 at 10:05
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    This is a workaround, not a solution. Certainly not a solution for everyone. If people wanted to disable their Caps Lock, they would have done so already and installing new keyboards would have had no effect. – Mr Lister Mar 7 '17 at 11:55
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    @SirAdelaide I've got a chromebook, and on the rare occasions when it's running chromeos rather than debian it's quite irritating to have to remember to press Alt+Search for CapsLock, instead of just Search (which is where CapsLock should be) – Chris H Mar 7 '17 at 12:24
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    Disabling caps lock is massive overkill for this problem. I use caps lock every single day many times a day as a software developer. I'm not interested in having to hold the shift key down and you shouldn't force that on your staff simply to save a few $ on keyboards. I can also second the comment by @ChrisH, I found it quite irritating to use a chromebook specifically because of this issue. – Michael McGriff Mar 7 '17 at 16:14
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    @Peter: Have you ever had to type lots of postal codes? It's bloody murder without a caps lock key. For those who don't know, postal codes (at least here in Canada) are in the format A0A 0A0. Holding Shift doesn't quite cut it, because that shifts the number row too. – user483996 Mar 7 '17 at 16:25
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It's been sort of talked around but not really stated: Teach your users. I don't mean teach them to type better, but how to painlessly fix capsing mistakes.

Do some research and figure out, for each program your users type large amounts of text into, the best way to reverse the caps effect. And by best here I mean maximise some combination of

  • Ease of learning
  • Ease of explaining
  • Ease of performing
  • Ease of remembering

for your particular audience. Then make some kind of cheat-sheet or other document and distribute it.

If any of the programs involved are particularly cantankerous, consider if making some kind of macro, script, or utility can be done quickly enough to be worthwile and distributed in a maintainable way.

If nothing else, a self-contained program that reverses the case of the contents of the clipboard when run could be compiled from maybe a dozen lines in AutoHotKey; it would lose formatting, though, if your users are formatting while typing head-down.

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