Is it possible to make the caps lock key behave like a normal modifier, and not as a toggle switch?

I have a custom keyboard layout which allows me to use the caps lock key to type Greek symbols. (It‘s useful for STEM students.) Most of the time, I only want to type a single Greek symbol—in which case, it would be much easier to use the caps lock key like one uses the shift key. Caps lock down, press a key, then caps lock up—caps lock does not remain on.

Is this possible to accomplish? Perhaps with Karabiner or similar?

  • 1
    Have you considered using the Option level instead of Caps Lock for the needed symbols? Jun 28, 2018 at 10:20
  • I already use the option key for symbols: accents and extended punctuation, etc. I could use a dead key to put the keyboard in “Greek mode” when a special key is pressed, but I’m trying to avoid that.
    – Jollywatt
    Jun 29, 2018 at 1:43

2 Answers 2


The easy method of using Apple system preferences only allows mapping the caps lock key to modifier keys and escape key.

Can't swap Caps Lock and Esc keys using Seil

Use caps-lock to lock fn key or other way to lock fn key?


Yes, this is entirely possible with Karabiner Elements.

The best way to do it is to use Karabiner-Elements to map caps lock to something like shift-control-option-command and then have shift-control-option-command and something else such as a as a keyboard shortcut for your Greek character.

  • Unfortunately, this hack means you cannot use caps with another modifier (e.g., shift) to, for instance, type shifted (upper case) Greek characters. (Currently, my keyboard maps caps to the lower Greek alphabet, caps + shift to capital Greek alphabets, and even caps + alt and caps + alt + shift to lower and upper letter form variants.)
    – Jollywatt
    Jul 20, 2018 at 9:46

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