Use an accessibility option to alert yourself to toggle keys

If you accidentally hit the CapsLock key often, you might want to relieve the frustration with this accessibility option.

It's easy to hit the CapsLock key and suddenly find your upper and lower case intentions, reversed. If you know you've hit CapsLock, you can quickly press it again before you do any real damage. If you don't realize you've hit it, you could type for a while before realizing what you've done. It can be a nuisance to fix.

If you're a clumsy typist and it happens often, you could probably use a little help. That's where the Windows accessibility options come in. You can use one to sound off when you hit CapsLock (or NumLock or ScrollLock). Here's what you do:

  1. From the Start menu, choose Control Panel (in Windows XP).
  2. Double-click the Accessibility Options applet.
  3. In the resulting dialog, check Use ToggleKeys.
  4. Click OK.

Now, when you press CapsLock (or the other toggle keys), Windows will beep at you. This feature won't stop you from pressing the key, but it will alert you so you don't keep typing!

This isn't strictly an Office tip-it works in all applications.


Susan Sales Harkins is an IT consultant, specializing in desktop solutions. Previously, she was editor in chief for The Cobb Group, the world's largest publisher of technical journals.


This is a good tip and the option is also available in Win 7. Just hold down Num Lock for 5 seconds then Yes is the corresponding window. or Control Panel, Ease of Access, Ease of Access Center, Make the keyboard easier to use then check Turn on Toggle keys.


Thanks for this, it is extremely useful. It was, I believe, published on TR some time ago but I forget how to do it and couldn't find it again. I've made a copy this time and filed it away somewhere safe.

Editor's Picks