Caps lock

From Academic Kids

The caps lock is a key on a computer keyboard. Pressing it causes the keyboard to go into a mode in which letter keys are interpreted as capital letters by default. The caps lock does not affect the number or punctuation keys.

Older computers such as the Commodore 64, and most typewriters, had a shift lock key. This is akin to the caps lock, but also affects the number and punctuation keys, causing them to type the characters they would if the shift key were held down. Originally, on mechanical typewriters, the shift key caused the type apparatus to physically shift to type capitals and other characters. The shift lock would lock this mechanism into place. Some operating systems and window managers allow Caps Lock to be used for this function.

Cultural significance

On Internet chat systems and Usenet, typing in all capitals is interpreted as shouting. It is also difficult to read, as it is known that reading capital letters causes eye fatigue much faster than lower case letters. A user who excessively uses capital letters may be advised to "lay off the caps lock."

Use of the caps lock is also associated with newbies who do not consider the appearance of their writing. On the PC keyboard, holding the shift key with caps lock on will produce a lowercase letter, yielding a text style considered stereotypical:

tHIS USER loves HIS cAPS lOCK KEY.

The caps lock can also cause difficulties in entering a computer password, as most systems use case sensitive passwords. Thus, when a user calls technical support and reports inability to log into a password-protected resource, a typical response is, "Is your caps lock on?" Many screens requiring log on now warn the user if their caps lock key is on to reduce the likelihood of this mistake.nl:Caps Lock

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