Recreating missing keyboard inidcator lights

Many laptops these days come without LEDs to indicate if “Caps Lock” or other lock keys are on. This saves the manufacturer about 0.001p per keyboard and allows them to wax lyrical about their new clean design and how the elegance of the implementation delivers the message of their core company culture (i.e. copy everything Apple does on the cheap and hope no one notices).

For us poor users it’s a blasted irritation. Luckily you can at least configure your DE to give you a clue. The following applies to KDE 4, but every major DE (even Windows – although this is usually done via a custom blob from the OEM) should have something similar.

  1. System Settings/Accessibility/Modifier keys[tab]
  2. Check “Use KDE’s system notification mechanism whenever a modifier or locking key changes state”
  3. Click “Apply”

And that’s you. Now when you hit “Caps Lock” you should get a wee pop-up to say if the lock is on or off. You can go into “Configure Notifications” in the same tab to fine-tune which keys cause the notification and even what the notification is (sound, message etc).

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