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Windows 7 - How to Install a New Keyboard Layout

Windows 7 provides extremely thorough support for many foreign languages. Typing in multiple languages should never have to be a problem on a modern computer. The English-language edition of Windows only installs the US English keyboard layout by default, although you'll be asked to select your preferred keyboard layout and other location settings when you install Windows and start it up for the first time. Installing additional keyboard layouts is highly recommended if you regularly work in a different language. Indeed, installing an appropriate keyboard layout is practically mandatory if you want to be able to write correctly in another language which contains diacritics or different letters. Follow the steps below to learn how to add a keyboard layout in just a matter of moments.

Open the start menu and click "Control Panel." Underneath the section entitled "Clock, Language and Region," click "Change keyboards or other input methods." If your control panel is set to the classic-style view, just double-click on the icon "Region and Language." In the Region and Language window, click the tab "Keyboards and Languages."

Click the button "Change keyboards." Click "Add." Scroll down the list until you find the language and regional dialect that you want to type in. As you can see, there are hundreds of options to choose from including some languages which were not supported in Windows Vista. Click the "+" sign beside your language and then click the "+" sign beside "Keyboard." Check the box beside the keyboard layout that you want. Generally, you'll want to select the default keyboard layout for that language. This is the one at the top of the list for each language. Click "OK" when done. If you type in this language most of the time, then it's a good idea to select it from the drop-down box as the default input language. Click "OK" again once you're finished.

The language bar will appear beside the system tray and computer time. This is not present when you only have one input language installed. The language bar will display the two-character language code for the currently selected input language. To cycle through the installed keyboard layouts, press and hold "ALT" and press "SHIFT." You can also change the input language by clicking on the language bar and choosing the language from the list which appears.


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