Auto Caps Lock switching between programs

Question

I have a database program that requires me to type in all upper case, so when I switch to Outlook, I end up typing messages in all upper case unless I remember to change the setting. I can’t find an easy way in Outlook to change the case of something that I have already typed and I don’t want to give recipients the impression that I am yelling at them in my messages. Any suggestions?

- Jerry

Answer

This question was answered on May 16, 2008. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.

In the “netiquette” of the online world, whenever someone types an e-mail message or forum post in all UPPERCASE, it is akin to shouting or yelling the information at the reader

While most folks that type in all uppercase aren’t intending to shout or yell, one never knows how a written passage will be taken by the recipient or reader, so being aware of this faux pas is helpful.

You’re also much more likely to be perceived as a “newbie” or novice “netizen” or just plain lazy if you consistently communicate in this way, so finding a solution will only improve your status online.

Some programs like Microsoft Word or older versions of Outlook have a built-in feature to make quick changes to the case by selecting the text (click and drag your mouse over the desired text to highlight or use CTRL-A to “select all”), then pressing SHIFT-F3 to toggle between uppercase, lowercase and title case.

If you type out a huge passage in the wrong case in Outlook, you could ‘Cut’ it out of your message (CTRL-A then CTRL-X) then ‘Paste’ (CTRL-V) into Word, change the case and copy it back into your Outlook message (but what a pain!)

This problem is common enough that an enterprising software developer has created a simple little program called “CapsWiz” that can actually monitor what program you’re using and automatically toggle the Caps Lock as well as the Num Lock and Scroll Lock settings based on what program you are using.

Once you install the program (which only takes a minute or two) it runs in the background and monitors which program you are using In your case you would configure it to monitor Outlook and turn off the Caps Lock whenever you launched or clicked on the program in your Task Bar

Conversely, you would tell the program that whenever you launch or click on your database program make sure the Caps Lock is turned on

It worked flawlessly when I tested it and it even had the ability to change the case after the fact in Outlook and Outlook Express by using the built in shortcuts to capitalize, reverse or lowercase anything that is highlighted.

These after-the-fact typing alteration “hotkeys” did take longer to react then it would in Microsoft Word, so be patient the first time you use them or you may think that it didn’t work

CapWiz can be downloaded from www.barhamsoftware.com and in the words of the software developer ‘was created after the author received one too many "shouting" memos’!

It’s free to try but will cost $10 to register and use after the 30 day trial period is over, which is a bargain for those that have to constantly contend with this problem.

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Author

Posted by Ken of Data Doctors on May 16, 2008