On a standard US keyboard layout, Capslock is probably the least used key. Most people use the shift key to type in uppercase letters. Google’s own netbook, the Cr-48 has replaced the capslock key with a dedicated “Search” key, enabling users to search the web just by hitting the button. I made some quick coding on Autohotkey to get the same functionality on Firefox and Google Chrome.

It does three things:
  • If no web-browser instance is active, it starts the Windows Explorer search.
  • If Google Chrome is active, it opens a new tab and lets you search the web.
  • If Firefox is active, it puts the cursor to the search box on top right.
You can use any of the following two methods to use the functionality on your Windows PC
1. Install AutoHotkey and on your favourite text-editor paste the following lines.
; Hit Capslock to search
Capslock::
SetTitleMatchMode 2
IfWinNotActive, Google Chrome or Firefox
Send, {F3}
IfWinActive, Google Chrome
Send, ^t
Send, ^k
IfWinActive, Firefox
Send, ^k
Return
Then, save it with .ahk extension. Just double click the file (after you have installed AutoHotkey) and your capslock is remapped to the new search button.
2. If the lines of code look daunting and you don’t want to install AutoHotkey, at all, I have good news for you. Just download the zip file at the end of this post and fire up the “capslock_as_search.exe” file. And there you go.

Bonus

Although it’s a personal choice, I find it great to have the backspace key around my left hand. “Try it, use it for a week, you'll never turn back” (@hiway) Just in case if anyone finds it useful here is the code:
; Hit Capslock to backspace
Capslock::Backspace
As earlier, if you don’t want to use and install AutoHotkey, you can just download the zip file at the end of the post and fire up “capslock_as_backspace.exe”
If you’re on Linux system, this post may help you.
See also:

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