How to make the Caps Lock key really useful on macOS


Button Caps lock You can easily be classified among the leaders among the most unclaimed keys, of course, if you are not a screaming hater, whose corporate style is TALKING ON HIGH TONE. In this article, we’ll show you how to find the right functional use of this key on a Mac.

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The main problem that arises before the user when trying to program the Caps Lock, Tab, Delete keys and the entire F1-F12 series is that they cannot be used with the standard macOS tools as part of shortcuts. In order to “hang” any combination or action, Caps Lock must first be turned into a trigger for shortcuts. This can be done using the special utility Karabiner Elements.

Download Karabiner Elements for Mac

How to install Karabiner Elements on Mac?

1. Download the program (link above) and install it on your computer.

How to install Karabiner Elements on Mac?

How to install Karabiner Elements on Mac?

Note! If a notification appears during installation: “System extension blocked”, click the button Open Security Settings

How to install Karabiner Elements on Mac?

In the window that appears, click Allow

How to install Karabiner Elements on Mac?

Close the installer.

Repeat the installation procedure.

After installing the program, follow the path (the window may open automatically) System Preferences → Protection & Security → Privacy and check the boxes next to the items karabiner_grabber and karabiner_observer

How to install Karabiner Elements on Mac?

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How to prepare the Caps Lock key with Karabiner Elements?

1… Run Karabiner Elements and click on the “+ Add Item “

How to prepare the Caps Lock key with Karabiner Elements?

2… In field “From Key “ select value “Caps_lock”.

3… In field “To Key “ go to the section “Others “ (at the very bottom of the list) and click, for example, on the option “Right_alt (equal to‘ right_option ’)”

How to prepare the Caps Lock key with Karabiner Elements?

4… Done. Close Karabiner Elements

Thus, the Caps Lock button using Karabiner Elements forcibly turns into a key ⌥Option (Alt), which, in turn, can already be used both in system tools for assigning special commands, and in third-party programs. Let’s look at both options.

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How do I assign any keyboard shortcuts to the Caps Lock key?

Via macOS system preferences

Through macOS settings, you can assign shortcuts with Caps Lock to perform such system functions as switching the language (a very convenient thing), screenshots, starting system services, and so on.

1… Open up menu  → System settings … → Keyboard → tab “Keyboard shortcuts”

2… Select any category of interest in the left side menu, find the shortcut and in the field with the keyboard shortcut press Caps Lock + any convenient button… For example, in our version, to quickly create a screenshot of the selected area, the shortcut “Caps Lock + A»(Displayed as ⌥Option (Alt) + A) instead of the more complex system version: ⌘Cmd + ⇧Shift + 4.

How do I assign any keyboard shortcuts to the Caps Lock key?

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Through the Alfred app

If you do not want to limit only system functions, then the paid Alfred application will come to the rescue. For example, through it you can configure the launch of programs through a keyboard shortcut

In Alfred’s settings we are interested in “Workflows “ in which you can assign keyboard shortcuts to launch certain programs.

As an example, we assigned the keyboard shortcut Caps Lock + A launching the Safari browser.

Caps lock

Download Alfred 4 for Mac (official developer site)

Be sure to tell us about how you use shortcuts in the comments to this material.

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