Yes, I love my Macs. All of them. iMac. Aging Mac mini. And a few Mac notebooks from a prized MacBook Pro to a few older notebooks that probably worry whether they’ll end upon on eBay or become cherished hand-me-downs to relatives still in school.
Apple says more than 80-percent of all Macs sold these days are notebooks. As with most higher quality keyboards, the Mac’s notebook and desktop keyboards are well adorned with the obvious and the basics. Big letters. Good feel. Backlit keys. Caps lock. Just as I have trouble with the caps lock on my iPhone, the same trouble exists on the Mac.
The variations among keyboard users is as much as the variations between races and age groups. Some peck with two fingers. Some watch the keyboard while they type. Others never look at a keyboard, always focus on the screen, and seem to zip down the typing highway at 100 words per minute.
Years of keyboard use on many different platforms; Mac, Windows, and dozens of different keyboard types has taught me to check the keyboard first, then watch the screen for what I type. Yes, it took a few decades to reach the point where I could not look at the keyboard while I type, and that means little warning lights like the Caps Lock evade my visual purview. In other words, I may accidentally hit the Caps Lock while typing but won’t know it until a dozen or two caps have replaced lower case letters.
Enter Captin, a free Mac utility you don’t know about, mostly wouldn’t use because it’s an add on, but probably need it anyway. Captin does one thing but does it a number of ways. It notifies you when the Caps Lock key is on.
Instant visual feedback. Everywhere.
Wait. I know what you’re thinking? If you’re typing and viewing something else other than the screen while you type, how will you know the big HUD– the instant visual feedback above– is displayed on the Mac’s screen?
I gotcha covered.
Not only is there a visual notification onscreen, there’s also a customizable LED color in the Menubar icon. And, there’s a Dock icon (theme aware, no less; dark or white).
Still, the same visual problem exists. How about a little sound?
Captin’s Settings are obvious, of course, but nestled at the bottom are a couple of sound effects options to let you know when the Caps Lock key is on and when it goes off. Unless you’re both sight and hearing impaired, you’re covered with Captin.
There’s more, of course. Change the actual HUD window size, adjust the background color, change the duration it displays on the screen, and even change the On sound effect and the Off sound effect to match your own personal vibe.
Even the location of the onscreen LED light can be changed.
Captin is free, doesn’t use much battery power, adjusts as needed for multiple displays, and gives you all that feedback from multiple sources just so you won’t feel the frustration of having typed a paragraph in all caps.
One other feature would come in handy, though. I’d like to see Captin with a keyboard shortcut to change a selection of upper case type to lower case. Otherwise, nearly perfect and it’s free.