How to change your keyboard layout

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This article was previously published under Q258824
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 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
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Article ID: 258824 - Last Review: 09/28/2011 22:02:00 - Revision: 7.0

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