For years I have used mostly full sized keyboards that have allowed me to use my palm on the CTRL key. Since that doesn’t work on my mac, I’m trying to swap the CTRL and Caps Lock key to see if that helps.

On the mac it is a simple matter of mousing into the keyboard preferences and choosing to swap those two keys in the modifiers dialogue. While I’m still not a huge fan of GUI everything over terminal, I have to hand it to Apple for making it not necessary for the basic config stuff. There’s a bit of a learning curve for me but I’m working through it.

Having one system out of a handful of my computers behave differently than the others is frustrating. Not even a week into it and I’m now determined to find a way to resolve the discrepancy.

So my first idea is to just try and use xmodmap to swap the left CTRL and the Caps Lock key. Turns out that’s fairly simple. First I created the following xmodmap script:

! Swap Caps_Lock and Control_L
remove Lock = Caps_Lock
remove Control = Control_L
keysym Control_L = Caps_Lock
keysym Caps_Lock = Control_L
add Lock = Caps_Lock
add Control = Control_L

Note that I actually found this script on another site so any accolades go to the person who answered the question here.

When you run this script with:

xmodmap <filename>

It is enabled and viola.

After about an hour of using these swapped keys at work, I’ve managed to turn on Caps Lock a lot so far. It’ll take a while to train my fingers.

While I’m sure I’d be less frustrated if I just disabled Caps Lock all together and let both keys be CTRL, I’m determined to train my hand to the new habit first. Perhaps I’ll post an update later or if I decide to follow the same on my PC at home.

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