The following are steps to adding a keyboard configuration for a different language to your computer. For example, you may typically enter text in English but at times need to enter text in Slovak. If your computer is set up for the English language, you will have a hard time entering the several soft consonants with their soft signs that are part of the Slovak alphabet. It can be done, but it is very cumbersome! So, in this case, the best solution is to add the Slovak keyboard configuration to your computer, or any other keyboard configuration you desire. Then when using your computer, you will be able to easily switch from one keyboard to the other. It’s my understanding Windows 7 Professional is the only version that comes with different keyboard configurations. If you don’t have this, I think there is a solution to this problem, which I will try to address in a future post.
- Select the Windows Start button and then select Control Panel.
- From the Control Panel window, select Clock, Language, and Region.
- From the Clock, Language, and Region window, select Change keyboards or other input methods.
- The Region and Language dialog box appears, as shown below.
- Select the Change keyboards… button from the Region and Language dialog box.
- The Text Services and Input Languages dialog box appears, as shown below.
- In the General tab, select the Add… button. Another dialog box will appear displaying all the different languages.
- Select the plus (+) sign next to the language you want. This will not remove your current keyboard configuration. It will just add another keyboard configuration from which you can switch to when using your computer; a little bit more on that latter.
- Now select the second plus (+) sign that appears below the first, next to the word “Keyboard” and then select the checkbox next to the dialect of the language you picked.
- Once you have your keyboard selected, select the OK button. The dialog box will disappear.
- Select the Apply button in the Text Services and Input Languages dialog box.
Now your computer is set up to use a different keyboard configuration. A couple of things to consider. First, while the Text Services and Input Languages dialog box is still open, select the Language Bar tab. Here you will see ways of setting up how you switch from one keyboard to another. Keep the default settings. I think this is the best. If you don’t, you can change it later. To access your keyboards through the default setting, all you do is select the new control that will appear next to your System Tray (toward the button right of your computer screen). For example, if you’re in Word or have started an email and want to enter text in Slovak, all you need to do is select the Slovak keyboard. At this point, based on the Slovak keyboard configuration, the keys you select on your keyboard will produce Slovak characters. This will take time to learn and I suggest you find an illustration online of the keyboard your language is in and print it out and then use that as a guide to getting familiar with the keyboard configuration. One final note. You can add as many foreign language keyboard configurations as you want, to the best of my knowledge. You can also remove a keyboard configuration at any time. You just need to repeat the steps above but you will select the language you want to remove and then select the Remove … button that appears just below the Add … button.
Look for my upcoming post on configuring your iPhone in order to enter text in a different language.