Never be bothered by caps lock
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Never be bothered by caps lock

As is known, capslock is almost useless in vim's normal mode. If it happens that the capslock is locked, you know what the fuck is going to happen:

  • You want to move up, but came out a man;
  • You wanna move down, but line joins;
  • You try to undo those joins, but it undo itself;
  • ...

So, lots of vimmers disabled the capslock or map it to another key. Yes, that is a beautiful solution. I don't like capslock too. But someday, I notice that the capslock is still useful, ---if you have to use an on screen keyboard (e.g., with a touch screen) Then I decide to do a simple thing instead of remap the keyboard: Toggle off the capslock when back to normal mode, ---that is what this plugin do.

vimcaps now support Windows and Linux (actually xWindow, we need Xlib), TTYs are still not supported. BSD hasn't been tested, suggestions are welcomed. Since I don't have a mac, there won't be any mac support until someone send a pull request. :)

You may consider to rate this plugin if you think it is useful, or just feels like it. Thanks!


It is highly recommended to use an addon manager for vim plugins.

The most convenient way to install this plugin is use vundle or vim-addon-manager, or some similar plugin-manager.

For vundle user, add the following line into your vimrc:

Plugin 'suxpert/vimcaps'

then :PluginInstall in vim.

If you use vam, you may active this plugin by the name vimcaps, it will download this plugin from vam now have this repo in its database, thus we won't need to use the github: prefix now, what we need to do is just add vimcaps to your ActivateAddons list, or add

call vam#ActivateAddons('vimcaps')

to your vimrc.

For Linux user, you need to compile the library manually, or let vimcaps compile it automatically. make, gcc, Xlib must be installed first. Linux support may have some bug (Although according to my test, only with such a strange way can vimcaps work. I'm using ubuntu 13.10 and a logitech small keyboard and onboard BTW). What we need to know is that, xWindow have a shift lock modifier. I don't know if such a lock exists on a physical keyboard or not, but Xlib functions can't change onboard's shift lock. So this shift lock is still a problem.


After install, this plugin will automatically handle the capslock for you: vimcaps register autocmd for toggle off the capslock when InsertLeave, BufferWinEnter and FocusGained. Note that FocusGained may don't work if you are under a terminal.

Starting from 0.0.3, vimcaps provide a function vimcaps#statusline() in order to display the keyboard locks status on the statusline. You'll need to add it to your statusline settings to enable it.

set stl=...%{vimcaps#statusline(N)}...

Here N is a mask, can be a combination of:

  • 1 for capslock;
  • 2 for numlock;
  • 4 for scrollock;

If N is negative, the result will have a fixed width. For example. vimcaps#statusline(-3) by default will return

"     NUM" if capslock is off and number lock is on, or
"CAPS NUM" if both of them are toggled, or even
"        " if both are off.

The display style and separator is controled by g:vimcaps_status_style and g:vimcaps_status_separator. Three build-in styles are:

'upper': show as "CAPS", "NUM", "SCRL" (default)
'lower': show as "caps", "num", "scrl"
'short': show as "C", "N", "S"

If you are using powerline or airline, read the manual about how to modify its statusline.

vimcaps#statusline() now can NOT update until statusline redraws. Though it ought to force a update whenever one of the locks is toggled. If you know how to do this (for example, how to send a command or whatever to vim whenever a xxLock KeyDown event happens without the --remote-send commands), Please help me to improve this plugin.

If you have some better suggestions, please tell me, perhaps it will be the default setting in a next version. :)

If you don't want vimcaps change your keyboard state, add let g:vimcaps_disable_autocmd = 1 to your vimrc, or uninstall this plugin.


Actually, to support capslock status should be quite easy, almost all editors support this, but vim don't! So I have to write this plugin. With the help of some input APIs, I made it work under windows (and x window, Linux TTY and Mac OS X is not yet supported). But, there are still issues for this method: currently I can't deal with a capslock toggle in normal mode, which I think should at least give a warning, but I have no way to do that right now. See TODO for details.

I wish, perhaps someday, this function will be integrated within vim, and this plugin become useless then. Will that happen? Let Bram know! :)