Map some other function to the insert key

Johan Walles walles at
Mon Apr 18 03:20:56 CDT 2005

How about asking the user a question the first time a "dangerous" key 
is pressed?

Something like: "You just pressed caps lock, what did you intend to 
happen?  * Write only caps  * Don't know" or "You just pressed the 
Insert key, what did you expect to happen?  * Overwrite mode  * Don't 

The exact phrasing may or may not be like that, but wouldn't that be a 
way of resolving this?


-----Original Message-----
From: Matthew Thomas <mpt at>
To: ubuntu-devel at
Sent: Mon, 18 Apr 2005 18:59:19 +1200
Subject: Re: Map some other function to the insert key

Michael R Head wrote:
 > > On Sun, 2005-04-17 at 21:46 -0700, Daniel Robitaille wrote:
  >> >>As for the Caps_lock, another key referenced in that Matthew 
  >>article, now that's another beast :) I usually try to disable it 
  >>xmodmap on computers I work on because I keep hitting it by 
  > > Why not use Keyboard Preferences and "Make CapsLock and additional 
> Control" (it's under "Control Key Position")?

  Because of a combination of three quirks: (1) the key is right next to 
A, (2) typing replaces selection, and (3) a large proportion of people 
(perhaps a majority, I'm not sure) don't understand undo.

  People who aim for the letter A and hit Caps Lock at the same time get 
into a capitals-only mode they didn't intend, which is bad enough. But 
if Caps Lock behaved as Control, (1) the same accident would type 
Control+A, which would Select All, and (2) the next keystroke would 
replace the selection. They'd apparently have lost their entire 
document, and (3) might well not know how to get it back. 

  So I can understand why it would be good for programmers to default 
Caps Lock to a Control key, but that wouldn't be a pleasant default for 
everyone else.

 -- Matthew Thomas

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