The caps lock is a key on a computer keyboard. Pressing it will set a keyboard mode in which typed letters are capitalized by default and (on some computers) in lower case when the shift key is pressed; the keyboard remains in this mode until caps lock is pressed again.
On Internet chat systems, forums and Usenet, typing a sentence in all capitals is considered rude, the large letters akin to shouting or yelling within the social context. On a more practical level, text written in all capital letters, a result of engaging the caps lock, may be difficult to read. The 'Caps Lock Theory', is often referred to in Internet chat forums and states that there is an inverse relationship between a person's use of the caps lock and their knowledge of a particular subject. There are known groups of people whose Internet communities are based entirely around the use of the caps lock key.
Case sensitivity, a feature used in passwords to increase their security, can also conflict with caps lock. Many services and pages that utilize this feature warn the user up front to check the status of the caps lock function before entering a username and/or password. FAQ pages and other help guides also include this advice to reduce the incidence of complaints to support technicians for such a minor and easily-prevented issue. In Mac OS X, when caps lock is engaged at a login or authentication panel, a symbol for caps lock (⇪) warns of the state from within the password field.
In 2006, Pieter Hintjens began a campaign to remove the caps lock key from the standard keyboard layout. While the vast majority of manufacturers continue to produce keyboards which include a caps lock, some have removed it. One Laptop Per Child computers, for example, do not have a Caps Lock key,, and the Colemak layout replaces it with Backspace.
On older keyboards, the Control key was located on the left of the keyboard, some people choose to remap the keys to exchange Caps Lock and Control.