With the increasing time that I’m spending in Tmux and Vim I’ve come to realise that the positioning of the control key is far from comfortable when working for a period of time. On the other hand I rarely use the ergonomically positioned caps lock.
Remapping the caps lock key is becoming an increasingly common modification in the Vim community. Thankfully it’s extremely easy to set up on OS X - with no third party software required.
Tucked away in the Keyboard section of System Preferences there is the Modifier Keys section. You can then just change the value in the Caps Lock key dropdown to ‘^ Control’.
Some users report that they encounter a slight delay on the caps lock key when using this method but I can’t replicate this issue in Mountain Lion.
I’ve converted the above process into an Applescript so that I can run it automatically when setting up a Mac from scratch. Once I’ve cloned and installed my dotfiles Git repo (mattkirman/dotfiles) it’s as simple as running
tell application "System Preferences" activate set current pane to pane "com.apple.preference.keyboard" end tell tell application "System Events" tell application process "System Preferences" get properties click button "Modifier Keys…" of tab group 1 of window "Keyboard" tell sheet 1 of window "Keyboard" click pop up button 4 click menu item 2 of menu 1 of pop up button 4 click button "OK" end tell end tell tell application "System Preferences" to quit end tell
You can download and run this script from mattkirman/dotfiles/blob/master/osx/capslock-to-control.scpt.