Netiquette – Take Off The Caps Lock

In this quick tip, I’m going to discuss what I call “netiquette” – proper etiquette for using the Internet, e-mail and forms of electronic communication. Now, the etiquette that applies in face-to-face communication applies to online communication.

One rule of face-to-face communication: There’s no need for shouting. Typing in all caps is the equivalent of shouting. You might do it occasionally for emphasis in a comment or an e-mail, but unless you really do intend to SHOUT YOUR WHOLE MESSAGE, take off the caps lock.


If you use caps because you want a larger font, most e-mail programs give you the opportunity to switch your font or the size of your font. And that’s a better option that all caps.


Using all caps can keep you from being heard at all. Many spam filters automatically block comments and e-mails that contain all caps. SO STOP DOING IT!

That is all.

~ Cynthia

9 thoughts on “Netiquette – Take Off The Caps Lock

  1. I find it hard to believe this many years into email, etc there are people who still do not know this about using all caps………

    There are times, though, when using all caps is necessary. I have a 90 year old aunt who emails me twice a day. She has macular degeneration; in order for her to be able to read what I write, I use a 36pt font, bold type and all caps!! Works! Now if there was a solution for her so she could see well enough to know when her fingers get on the wrong keys and I get an email full of letters, no words!! 🙂

  2. Come out of the dark ages, WorldStart.

    Check your percentages of senior population using electronic devices,also the eye health of people. Most people use Caps Lock to see what they’re typing or to communicate with people with vision images.

    The internet is no longer for trolls!

    Retraction, Please!!

    1. Judy: My main caution against all caps is that is one of things that spam filters use to remove spam. It can cause your e-mail message not to get through or your comment to not post. If vision is an issue, I would suggest adjusting the device with many of accessibility options that enable bolder and clearer fonts.

      1. Good advice Cynthia. Now how about instructing the seniors how to adjust font size. This should have been given along with your article on all cap shouting.

      2. We’ve gone multiple articles on accessibility options, but if anyone has a particular question about adjusting font size, we’d be glad to answer it.

  3. I love your etiquette tip about all caps. It can be difficult to read when there are all capital letters. So glad I took a summer class in high school years ago to learn the keyboard of a typewriter. I also see the point of your earlier commenters. But I have a friend who has had several operations on her shoulders. She is unable to maneuver her arms to shift the cap key. It is a wonder she is able to use the keyboard at all. She keeps the cap lock key on all the time for ease. Since friends already know her physical limits, we are not offended by the caps. But imagine many other people would not understand. If used in more business settings it would be a problem. Thanks for all you do!

    1. I highly suggest anyone with physical limitation take advantage of the many accessibility options, such as the ability to dictate what you want to right as opposed to typing. As you said, it’s not an issue with friends, but it can cause you problems with other types of correspondence as your inquiries or messages might be targeted by spam filters.

  4. You are full of prunes, I’m 73 and sometimes you CAN NOT enlarge your print/type so caps takes the place of that I guess the next thing is someone is going to say because i use caps that equates to being a racist. You have got to realize not ALL people subscribe to your and all the rest of you geeks that we are being rude. Believe you me you will know when I on the way to rude!!!!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.