Caps lock

caps lock

On the Mac, the caps lock key may look like this:

caps lock key with fragmented up-arrow

The caps lock key is usually used to lock the input to CAPITAL (upper case) letters. Press it again to unlock. This button is unusual because it’s used to toggle between states. If you press it, the capitals are locked on (so if you then press A you get “A” instead of “a”). If you press caps lock again, the lock is taken off.

Sometimes the keyboard has a small light that indicates when the key has been pressed (that is, if the caps lock is on). Often the light is on the caps lock key itself.

Later you might find that accidentally pressing caps lock causes you more trouble than it’s worth, and you sometimes START SHOUTING BY MISTAKE. For this reason some developers disable the caps lock key, because (especially when programming or issuing commands) they never need to only type in upper case.

Caps lock only affects the letter keys. It’s not so common, but some keyboards also have a shift lock key, which acts as if the shift key is always held down while it’s locked on.