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Author Topic: SOLVED: better keyboard language switching  (Read 3570 times)

klausbh

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SOLVED: better keyboard language switching
« on: January 19, 2012, 04:29:32 PM »
Hi all,

I am a new member, lured in by Find And Run Robot, and the first thing I would like to try out here is a coding snack idea. I would be quite thrilled if somebody could implement the idea, because it has been bugging me for years!

Quick description: Simple hotkey keyboard language switching for all previously launched and newly launched applications. The icing on the cake would be an option to make keyboard languages device-specific, i.e. allow simultaneous use of one internal English laptop keyboard and one external German USB keyboard. (Win XP)

Long-winded description: I use two different keyboards (internal laptop and external USB) and I also use two different languages (English and German). The internal keyboard happens to have the US-English layout printed on it and the external one happens to be German, but that is not important just yet. What is important is that I frequently switch between keyboards and languages in all possible combinations. Currently I do this via the windows language bar (ctfmon.exe) using ALT-SHIFT to toggle between English and German. Unfortunately, the language bar implements keyboard layout on an application by application basis. So, lets say I am writing an email in German on the German keyboard, and I suddenly want to check something on the web. I launch a browser and start typing but forget that, by default, I am now back to a US keyboard layout. I am reminded when all the Ys and Zs are switched, not to mention the lack of Ä, ß, ... As far as I can tell there is no way to make windows understand that when I switch to the German layout, I mean ALL applications and not just the active window. There is an additional feature that may be very useful. I usually have both keyboards within reach, and might not have to switch languages as often (reducing memory-related spelling problems), if I could simultaneously have the laptop keyboard mapped to the US layout and the USB keyboard mapped to the German layout. Just imagine all those keys actually doing what they say! By the way, I happen to use a variant of windows XP, but I suspect that there are many other multi-(keyboard-)lingual folks out there who could benefit from this, so "win all" would be best.

Thanks in advance,

-klausbh
« Last Edit: January 20, 2012, 06:47:59 AM by klausbh »

Ath

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Re: SOLVED: better keyboard language switching
« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2012, 05:09:01 PM »
Found this solution (last message on that page), but it requires a bit of manual labor. IMHO it's quite brilliant!
Quote
The “something even better” is to use Microsoft Keyboard Layout Creator to create a custom layout which uses CapsLock as a language switch, then delete all other layouts (including the default English). I have done this with English+Russian and I can't express how better my life has been from since.

It has a lot of Pros listed there, but I guess the only (imho small) drawback is that Word has some difficulty recognizing the language that you're currently typing.

Only if that doesn't work I'd consider it for a Coding Snack :-\

klausbh

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Re: SOLVED: better keyboard language switching
« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2012, 03:54:30 AM »
Thank you, thank you, thank you!

I had searched far and wide without finding that solution, perhaps because it never occurred to me that one complex keyboard layout could accommodate two standard layouts simultaneously. Specifically, I did not realize that caps-lock and shift can be used without cancelling each other out, i.e. "caps-lock + shift + ;" = "Ö" .

As far as I am concerned the issue has been solved, and by the good folks at microsoft no less! Do I need to do anything to mark the thread as such?

-klausbh

ewemoa

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Re: SOLVED: better keyboard language switching
« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2012, 04:35:53 AM »
Found this solution (last message on that page), but it requires a bit of manual labor. IMHO it's quite brilliant!

Mmm, sounds great!

Ath

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Re: SOLVED: better keyboard language switching
« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2012, 05:18:37 AM »
Do I need to do anything to mark the thread as such?
You could update the title of the original post to show 'SOLVED' instead of 'IDEA', Skwire/a moderator will later move the thread into the right forum folder.

skwire

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Re: SOLVED: better keyboard language switching
« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2012, 09:22:00 AM »
Welcome to the site, klausbh.  Thanks, Ath, for finding a great solution.  =]  I'll move the post.