Over the past few days, I’ve seen a flurry of posts about someone’s campaign to kill off the Caps Lock key. Dwight Silverman notes, sadly, that the movement is the online equivalent of peasants with pitchforks storming the castle:
Unfortunately, the link goes off to a Google Groups discussion, rather than a reasoned, written argument. The point here, as best I can ascertain it, is to remove the caps-lock key from keyboards to prevent anyone from typing e-mail in all capital letters, ever.
While we wait for the hardware industry to kill off this
mostly useless useful but occasionally annoying (see the comments for more of this debate) appendage, here’s a more practical suggestion: disable the key so that hitting it by accident has no effect. This post at the Annoyances.org forum lists the keyboard scan codes for Windows and explains how to manually edit the Registry to neuter the Caps Lock key. John Haller was kind enough to create a collection of .REG files (for Windows and Unix) that disable the Caps Lock key or change its function so it acts like a Ctrl key.
Related: If you use Microsoft Word, you probably have a similar grievance with the Insert key. If you hit it by accident, you switch in Overtype mode and whatever you type wipes out what’s already on the page. The cure is here: How to disable Word’s annoying Overtype key.