Author Topic: Have you ever seen Num/Caps/Scroll Lock actually used WITH modifiers (Shift, Ctr  (Read 1471 times)

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Offline depletedvespene

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Whenever discussing physical/logical layouts on keyboards and how to best tinker with them, common themes are how some keys aren't "used anymore", how "Num Lock should disappear" (true), "Scroll Lock is obsolete" (false), "Caps Lock takes valuable real state that would be better off as an Fn key" (true enough), etcetera.

While talking about it with some other people, I realized that I don't remember EVER (with one exception; see below) seeing any of the three Lock keys being used with modifiers. Although the operating system will recognize the chords without issue, pressing Shift-Caps Lock, Ctrl-Caps Lock, Alt-Caps Lock (and any combination of the three mods) will ALL do the same as pressing Caps Lock without any mods at all; same for Num Lock and Scroll Lock...

... and I don't know of ANY operating system OR application where any combination of a lock key and modifiers is given any kind of meaning, unlike what happens with the other mod keys (think of Ctrl-F5, Alt-Shift-Tab, Ctrl-Esc, Shift-arrows, etc.). The ONE exception (that I know of) is the IBM Model M SSK, which maps Shift-Scroll Lock to be Num Lock.

I wonder if could this be taken advantage of in a more or less standardized manner. For example, compact keyboards (think 75% and under) have a limited amount of keys, and mapping all the Lock functions to a single key would be advantageous. We could make Caps Lock behave like this:

  • Caps Lock: Caps Lock on/off.
  • Shift-Caps Lock: Scroll Lock on/off.
  • Ctrl-Caps Lock: Num Lock on/off.
  • Alt-Caps Lock: turn on or off the Windows keys.

But this, of course, won't have a chance at working if the Lock keys DO have chorded assignments in some widely (or not-so-widely) used program... so, to circle back to my initial question: have you ever seen mod-Lock chords used anywhere?

Offline nevin

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interesting concept. i can see how disabling the win key could be a bonus in some situations.

"(think 75% and under)" would not have a numpad anyway for numlock to function. but you could certainly embed a numpad on a layer.

i think in general most of these dated locks have gone by the wayside or are just there because of the 104 layout we've all known for decades. i'm sure there is still a handful of people that use them, but it's probably a lot less then we'd expect. or if they are there, how often are they actually used?

a common thing is to remap ctrl to capslock for better placement of the ctrl key

there are a ton of things you can program in QMK/TMK. i'm sure you could accomplish most if not all of what you explained. there are also various ways to switch to/activate different layers (switch to a layout without a win key on the keymap) for example.

i did some programing on a numpad pcb a couple months ago and i'm not sure what the reason is, but numlock does not want to function when not in the top/active layer (does not want to register when called by a Fn combination, Fn + key = NumLock) within QMK.
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Offline theNestruo

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In Visual Studio Code, when defining keybindings, CapsLock, ScrollLk and NumLk are available but they keep their native function. But, as you can define sequences of two keys, You can created keybindings such as:
  • CapsLock, CapsLock: quick open (mapped to Ctrl+P by default)
  • Shift+CapsLock, Shift+CapsLock: show all commands (by symmetry with Ctrl+P/Ctrl+Shift+P)
  • Ctrl+CapsLock, Ctrl+CapsLock: show all symbols
  • ScrollLk, ScrollLk: locate the current file in the embedded file explorer
  • Alt+ScrollLk, Alt+ScrollLk: open the OS file explorer pointing to the current file
  • etc.