Notification when Caps Lock is Active

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated September 10, 2012)

Debbie asked if there was a way to change the background color of the screen whenever the Caps Lock key is on. She periodically hits the key without realizing it, and would like some sort of notification.

There is no way to tie the Caps Lock key to a background color that we've been able to locate. For most people this wouldn't really help that much, since looking at the screen to notice the background color would also allow the user to notice when typing was being done in ALL CAPS. Most people want some sort of audible notification of when the key has been activated. Some folks use some sort of third-party program like FirstCap, available free at http://www.falsinsoft.cjb.net.

You don't have to rely on a third-party program, however. You can use the accessibility features of Windows to audibly notify you when you've pressed the Caps Lock key. Follow these steps:

  1. Display the Control Panel.
  2. Double-click the Accessibility Options applet. The Accessibility Options dialog box opens.
  3. Make sure the Keyboard tab is displayed. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The Keyboard tab of the Accessibility Options dialog box.

  5. Choose the Use ToggleKeys check box.
  6. Display the General tab. (See Figure 2.)
  7. Figure 2. The General tab of the Accessibility Options dialog box.

  8. Make sure the Turn Off Accessibility Features After Idle check box is not selected.
  9. Click OK.
  10. Close the Control Panel.

The ToggleKeys feature, when turned on, will beep whenever the Caps Lock, Num Lock, or Scroll Lock keys are pressed.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (336) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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