The versatility of caps lock in Adobe...

Yes it does more than just make your text all capitalized.

macro shot of a blue keyboard button Caps Lock

Today I am going to write about the different functionalities of the caps lock button across some of the different softwares that Adobe offers. Aside from mysteriously getting stuck on and us having to google an answer on how to solve that problem. Since that varies from software to software we wont cover that here. Just a few quick tips on how caps lock functions when using certain tools as well as its different functions across different Adobe softwares.

Let's start with After effects.

after-effects-3D-logo

I started the blog with After effects not because it’s my favorite.  It will be the fastest to write about but take the longest to create the content for because I will have to render a file twice to get the screenshots needed for content.

In addition to it’s standard function of capitalizing the letters at all times while typing, the caps lock key, when turned ON in After effects could drastically reduce render times depending on your hardware. It’s only function as far as I know in After effects is to prevent a preview of the file on the screen as it renders & it prevents the frames from refreshing in editing mode. 

These pictures demonstrate the difference in render times when using the caps lock function to render an 18 second animation (my logo animation) on a PC with an Intel i7-9700k CPU, an MSI RTX 2070 Super GPU and 32gb of RAM. I also have photoshop and illustrator running so that may effect things slightly.

The images displaying a render preview (with my logo in them) were rendered with caps lock turned off and the images with no preview (a black screen in after effects) with caps lock turned on. I rendered the file at 32bpc to maximize render quality and render time and used 2 images of each to show the difference at different times throughout the process. One mid-way and 1 once complete to show the total rendered time that I underlined in red in photoshop. As you can see on an 18 second animation it saved me a total of 3 minutes and 30 seconds. Just imagine how much time it could save on a lengthy animation.

Unlike After effects, the functionality of the caps lock button is actually quite versatile in some of the other Adobe software’s such as Photoshop and Illustrator. Those are the only 3 Adobe software’s we will be covering here today. At least for now. I am also only covering what I know and will update this blog post if I discover any new hidden features of the infamous caps lock key. 

Moving on to Illustrator.

adobe-illustrator-splash

The Pen Tool.

The pen tool is a very useful tool and is featured in many of Adobe's products. Primarily for creating unique shapes and paths. But we aren't here to talk about what the pen tool does. We are here to discuss what caps lock does. With the pen tool when caps lock is turned ON it turns the cursor image into a little x acting like crosshair of sorts and is far more accurate than how it appears when caps lock is turned off in my opinion. When it is turned off it is similar to the icon used above the heading for this text block. In the images I have circled the pen tool on the screen in red so you can take a look for yourself. If you're wondering why the screenshots are from in a video player it's because when you take a screen shot, the cursor disappears so I had to screen record a short clip then take shots of that.

The Paint Brush Tool.

The paint brush tool is another extremely useful tool and it has been around for about as long as Adobe has been publishing software. This isn't an Adobe history blog so let's get down to business here. When using the paint brush tool in Illustrator, the caps lock key functions in pretty much the same way as it does with the pen tool. It turns the brush icon into an X. I prefer using the brush tool without the caps lock key turned on because I feel like it obstructs the view of my brush. The big reason I like it so much with the pen tool is because the middle of the X is eXactly where the point you will be placing with the pen tool will be placed. Way more accurate. We're in the paint brush section too, not the pen tool one so I'll continue on about the paint brush tool now. The 2 pictures here with the paint brush circled in red show the difference between caps on and caps off.

As you can see the caps lock function does much more within Illustrator than just capitalize text and that’s just what I know. It took me close to a year to notice the difference when using the pen tool and I just noticed the paint brush functionality today. 

Here’s where things get a little interesting. In Photoshop, most of the tools don’t use an icon around the cursor. But the caps lock key still plays an important role when using many of the tools. Since today’s 2 tools of discussion seem to be the pen tool and the brush tool, they have been around since time immemorial and they are handy tools. We will continue the trend and finish the post off with what the mysteries of caps lock behold within the magical world of Photoshop. 

Finishing with Photoshop.

photoshop-logo-splash

The Pen Tool.

In photoshop the pen tool is extremely useful for things like masking and we're going to cover that in another blog post. It can also create shapes and paths. This post is all about caps lock though so we're going to stick with that. In Photoshop the caps lock key functions in the exact same way as it does in Illustrator. It turns the cursor icon from the pen tool icon into something that actually does resemble a crosshairs and I wish it was like that in Illustrator. I use the pen tool a lot more in Illustrator. In Photoshop I use the brush tool more often when masking opposed to the pen tool. These images will again show the difference circled in red.

The Paint Brush Tool.

In another blog post very soon we will be discussing masking in photoshop. Outside of painting, the paint brush is extremely useful when it comes to masking. Let's stick with discussing caps lock in this post. There's no need to keep getting off topic! The caps lock key in Photoshop when using the paint brush tool switches the cursor from the round circle that represents the area you will "paint" with into the crosshair like thing. The thing that I wish the pen tool had in Illustrator. The caps lock off option which is the 1 that shows you the circle. Is the 1 I prefer when using the paint brush tool in photoshop. It shows me the exact area I am about to cover. Here's 2 pictures to show you the difference between caps lock on and caps lock off using the paint brush in Photoshop.

The End...

I hope you enjoyed my blog post! It was my first one ever and I had lots of fun creating it. What started out as a requirement for a school assignment just turned into another addiction. I am looking forward to bringing you more great blog content in the near future. If you know of any other secret functionalities laying beneath the depths of the infamous caps lock key within any Adobe products, please leave a comment below. I would love to hear about it. I might even add it to this blog post crediting you for it!

Until Next Time…

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