When I’m in the family room browsing the web, watching a football game, listening to music, and talking to my wife (all at the same time), I occasionally hear an Oh, S#$@! from her banging away on her Mac’s keyboard. Invariably, it’s something she typed when she didn’t want to. Or, she replied to all in an email when she didn’t want to. Or, something happened she didn’t want to happen. And, then it happened again. And again. Whatever it is, her response is usually the same. Oh, S#$@! I’m translating, of course.
Often, the problem is something simple but pops up only after banging out what she thinks is one thing, but actually turns out to be something else. Can you say Caps Lock?
A Mac With Built-in Warnings
After using Macs for nearly 20 years, I’m convinced we need more warnings of the nature of a Majel Barrett Star Trek computer voice.
How about, Warning! Batter life near zero!
Or, Warning! Caps Lock engaged.
For Jesse, it’s usually one or the other, and sometimes both. CAPS Warn is a Mac app that takes care of the latter, sans Majel Barrett’s distinct voice.
The Caps Lock problem seems to be inherent with anyone who uses Sticky Keys or uses the Mac’s keyboard to enter numbers. The only warning Apple gives is the little green light above the Caps Lock key.
For fast typists (or, is it typers?) who don’t look at the keyboard, having the Caps Lock key on can be disastrous after a minute or two of typing what you don’t want to type. Hence the, Oh, S#$@! episodes.
CAPS Warn simply warns you when the Caps Lock key is turned on. Ditto for when the Num Lock Key is turned on.
To be sure, this is not a pretty interface, so tread carefully.
What you get for the money (nominal if you have the Caps Lock disease) is a series of options to warn you when you accidentally turn on Caps Lock. Plus, there’s an onscreen indication of the Caps Lock status.
Other options include displaying Caps Lock, Shift, and Num Lock status in the Menubar. You can even set up a warning after typing a certain number of keys in a row with either the Shift key or Caps Lock key.
Even better, you set the warnings, which range from System sound alerts to flashing screen to Growl notifications (preferable). Not everyone needs CAPS Warn, but you’ll know who does.