How to change your keyboard layout

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Article ID: 258824 - View products that this article applies to.
This article was previously published under Q258824
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SUMMARY

This article describes how to change keyboard layouts for the Microsoft keyboards listed in the "Applies To" section.

You can configure your keyboard to use a different language or keyboard layout, such as Canadian Multilingual, Spanish, or United States-Dvorak. A large selection of keyboard layouts is installed with the Microsoft Windows operating system.

Generally, you should configure your keyboard layout in Windows to match the actual keyboard that you use. If you can choose a different layout, be aware that the keys on your keyboard may display different characters than those that appear on screen.

MORE INFORMATION

To configure your keyboard to use a different language or keyboard layout, use the appropriate method for your version of Windows.
Note These methods use the Canadian French keyboard layout as an example.

Windows 7 or Windows Vista

  1. Click Start
    Collapse this imageExpand this image
    Start button
    , type intl.cpl in the Start Search box, and then press ENTER.
  2. On the Keyboards and Language tab, click Change keyboards.
  3. Click Add.
  4. Expand the language that you want. For example, expand French (Canada).
  5. Expand Keyboard list, click to select the Canadian French check box, and then click OK.
  6. In the options, click View Layout to compare the layout with the actual keyboard.
  7. In the Default input language list, click French (Canada) – Canadian French, and then click OK two times.
  8. In the Regional and Language Options dialog box, click OK.
    Note The Language bar appears on the taskbar. When you rest the mouse pointer over this bar, a tooltip appears that describes the active keyboard layout.
  9. Click the Language bar, and then click FR French (Canada).

Windows XP

  1. Click Start , type intl.cpl in the Run box, and then press ENTER.
  2. On the Languages tab, click Details.
  3. Under Installed services, click Add.
  4. In the Input language list, select the language that you want. For example, select French (Canada) .
  5. In the Keyboard layout/IME list, click Canadian French, and then click OK .
  6. In the Select one of the installed input languages to use when you start your computer list, click French (Canada) – Canadian French, and then click OK.
  7. In the Regional and Language Options dialog box, click OK.
    Note The Language bar appears on the taskbar. When you rest the mouse pointer over this bar, a tooltip appears that describes the active keyboard layout.
  8. Click the Language bar, and then click French (Canada).

How to make sure that the selected layout matches the keyboard

Windows 7 or Windows Vista

  1. Click Start, type osk in the Start Search box, and then press ENTER.
  2. Match the keyboard on the screen with the physical keyboard to make sure that the layout matches.
  3. To check the uppercase characters, click the shift key on the keyboard or on the screen, and match the characters printed on the keyboard.

Windows XP

  1. Click Start, type osk in the Run box, and then press ENTER.
  2. Match the keyboard on the screen with the physical keyboard to make sure that the layout matches.
  3. To check the uppercase characters, click the shift key on the keyboard or on the screen, and match the characters printed on the keyboard.

REFERENCES

For more information about the Language bar, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
306993 HOW TO: Use the Language Bar in Windows XP
For more information about how to use the United States-International keyboard layout, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
306560 How to use the United States-International keyboard layout in Windows 7, in Windows Vista, and in Windows XP

Properties

Article ID: 258824 - Last Review: September 28, 2011 - Revision: 7.0
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Basic Keyboard
  • Microsoft Bluetooth Mobile Keyboard 6000
  • Microsoft Comfort Curve Keyboard 2000
  • Microsoft Digital Media Pro Keyboard
  • Microsoft Digital Media Keyboard 3000
  • Microsoft Internet Keyboard Pro
  • Microsoft Laser Mouse 6000
  • Microsoft MultiMedia Keyboard
  • Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Desktop 7000
  • Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000
  • Microsoft Natural Keyboard Elite
  • Microsoft Natural MultiMedia Keyboard
  • Microsoft Optical Desktop Elite for Bluetooth
  • Microsoft Optical Desktop with Fingerprint Reader
  • Microsoft Optical Mouse
  • Microsoft Optical Mouse by Starck
  • Microsoft Reclusa
  • Microsoft Sidewinder X6 Keyboard
  • Microsoft Wired Desktop 600
  • Microsoft Wired Keyboard 600
  • Microsoft Wired Keyboard 500
  • Microsoft Wired Keyboard 200
  • Microsoft Wireless Desktop 3000
  • Microsoft Wireless Entertainment Desktop 8000
  • Microsoft Wireless Entertainment Desktop 7000
  • Microsoft Wireless IntelliMouse Explorer for Bluetooth
  • Microsoft Wireless Keyboard 3000
  • Microsoft Wireless Laser Desktop 7000
  • Microsoft Wireless Laser Desktop 6000 v2.0
  • Microsoft Wireless Laser Desktop 6000
  • Microsoft Wireless Laser Desktop 5000
  • Microsoft Wireless Laser Desktop 4000
  • Microsoft Wireless Laser Desktop 3000
  • Microsoft Wireless Laser Desktop for Mac
  • Microsoft Wireless Laser Mouse 8000
  • Microsoft Wireless Laser Mouse 6000
  • Microsoft Wireless Notebook Laser Mouse 6000
  • Microsoft Wireless Notebook Presenter Mouse 8000
  • Microsoft Wireless Notebook Optical Mouse 4000
  • Microsoft Wireless Optical Desktop 5000
  • Microsoft Wireless Optical Desktop 3000
  • Microsoft Wireless Optical Desktop 2000
  • Microsoft Wireless Optical Desktop 4000
  • Microsoft Wireless Optical Desktop 1000
  • Microsoft Wireless Optical Desktop 700 v2.0
  • Microsoft Wireless Optical Desktop 700
  • Microsoft Wireless Optical Desktop Elite
  • Microsoft Wireless Optical Desktop for Bluetooth
  • Microsoft Wireless Comfort Desktop 5000
  • Microsoft Wireless Optical Desktop Pro 2.0
  • Microsoft Wireless Optical Desktop Pro 1.0
  • Microsoft Wireless Optical Mouse 2.0
  • Microsoft Wireless Optical Mouse 5000
  • Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
  • Windows 7 Home Basic
  • Windows Vista Home Basic
Keywords: 
dftsdahomeportal kbhardware kbhowto kbui KB258824

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