Recently I wrote a post on how to remap your Caps Lock key in a context sensitive way using KeyRemap4MacBook. Since then (just now) I have started to use my Mac laptop with an external keyboard. Not anticipating any issues, I got a little scared when the key remap I’d spent a while investigating and setting up didn’t work. It is with great relief that I now post the solution. You also get a bonus tip if you make it to the end of the post.
Remapping Caps Lock on External Keyboards
This is an easy one. Ready? Just disable the Caps Lock key for your external keyboard in the standard keyboard preference pane. This is covered in the FAQ for KeyRemap4MacBook, however, I never noticed that it only applied to the internal keyboard. I’m using an Apple Aluminium USB keyboard, so your mileage may vary with other externals. Leave a comment if it does. Just in case you’re not sure what I’m talking about, I also prepared this helpful screenshot that is in no way being used to flesh out an otherwise very short post.
Bonus: Key Repeat Rate with KeyRemap4MacBook
One other thing I stumbled upon in the comments to an answer while looking for a solution to this problem is that using KeyRemap4MacBook overrides the key repeat settings in Apple’s standard preference pane. This has been frustrating me occasionally over the last few days, so I was glad to find the solution. This one’s an easy one too: use the KeyRemap4MacBook preference pane as shown in the screenshot below. You don’t get a slider, but you can just keep playing with the values to find your sweet spot.
Two handy keyboard tips in one itty bitty post – you can’t say I don’t look after you.