I've created a user interface which re-purposes the Caps Lock key to something more useful. During user studies some participants mentioned they did use the Caps Lock key from time to time. (Sidenote: I replaced the behavior of Caps Lock with Caps Lock - A)

This made me wonder whether any research has been done about the usage of Caps Lock. Are there any usage statistics available? Which demographic uses it most?

It's Humanized's project Enso, which inspired me to re-purpose the key for something more useful.

Jef Raskin (2000) proposed the removal of the Caps Lock key in "The Humane Interface". The Chromebook went ahead and actually did it, along with some other keys.

  • 1
    IT'S CERTAINLY GREAT FOR YELLING. But seriously, I would be just as happy if I could double-tap the shift key to activate caps lock and use that key for something else.
    – Taj Moore
    Commented Jun 15, 2012 at 22:47

2 Answers 2


Here on the Swiss keyboard we need the caps lock to write a capital Umlauts at the beginning of a sentence. E.g. pressing the ä-key with shift we get à. So we need caps lock and ä to get a Ä. So if you reprogram this key then we won't be able to write everything correctly. I guess there are other keyboard layouts where they use the caps lock in a similar way. So a lot of people will not be happy about it.

I can not give you any statistics or research results about this. Just my own experience.

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    It's always good to be reminded that not everyone writes purely in English on the web.
    – JonW
    Commented Jun 15, 2012 at 22:23
  • As long as you have shift, you'll never need caps lock. Commented Jun 15, 2012 at 22:37
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    @cornbreadninja I just showed you I need caps lock because there are some letters I can not press without it. Like uppercase umlauts. Commented Jun 15, 2012 at 22:47
  • wow, I misread that. My apologies! Commented Jun 15, 2012 at 22:52
  • Oh god ... that seems even worse than Caps Lock itself. :) But thanks for pointing that out. In Belgium (and I presume France) we have an 'Alt Gr' key to type any third possible characters which are printed on the keys. Commented Jun 16, 2012 at 0:41

This isn't a study, but this article provides a lot of insight. Some examples of Caps Lock lovers the article mentions are those with disabilities that make it difficult to press two keys at once and engineers, who frequently use all caps for clarity.

I would recommend instead of asking your users if they do caps lock, watch how often they do it during user testing. Even if they do use it from time to time, if your users aren't a high-use group, you can probably do away with it.

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