Ctrl → CapsLock

Monday, October 30, 2006

I have to admit it, I’m also one of those freaks who moved their Ctrl key! You see, the problem is that I used to operate the left control key with my thumb. I could show you photos of this, but trust me, you don’t want to see those… .

Usually, this is no problem at all (meaning I take only negligible physical damage), but every once in a while I have to type a lot (like finished my Ph.D. thesis), and then the situation just gets worse.

But there is a solution! Just move your control key up to the caps-lock key. This is cool for several reasons:

  • You can hit the (new) control key with your little finger - with even less strain than the original left control key.
  • On laptops, the control key is often moved to different positions, while the caps-lock key isn’t.
  • It makes me think of the good ol’ C=64:

    (Although for that, I would have to move the control key up to the tab key…)

  • You won’t be able to use other computers any more.

The only question is, how to do it. Well, fortunately, it is rather simple:

  • Gnome/KDE: Just go to the keyboard preferences, setxkbmap options. There you can turn your caps-lock key into an additional control key.

  • Plain X (Xorg): setxkbmap -option “ctrl:nocaps”. Also see here for more options.

  • Win XP: Open up regedit. Then add to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Keyboard Layout a binary value named Scancode Map and set it to

<pre> 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 02 00 00 00 1d 00 3a 00 00 00 00 00 </pre>

Don’t forget to reboot! Believe me, it’s magic and it works!

Posted by at 2006-10-30 12:37:00 +0100

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