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Windows 7 - How to Use Windows 7 in Your Language

More recent versions of Windows have greatly improved their multilingual capabilities with a wider selection of supported languages and even complete language packs to change the language of the entire user interface. Changing your language settings in Windows 7 is fairly straightforward. The following guide explains how to change every aspect of your language settings. Most of these tips also work with Windows Vista.

1 - Add a Keyboard Setup
If you've got a foreign-language keyboard layout, you'll need to install an appropriate keyboard layout on your computer to get the most out of it. If you don't do this, not all of the keys on your keyboard will relate to the characters actually being typed.
Access the control panel. Underneath the "Clock, Language and Region" section, you'll find "Change keyboards and other input methods." Click on this and then click on the "Change keyboards" button in the window which appears. Click the "Add" button on the right-hand side. Scroll down the list to find your language or dialect. As you can see, hundreds of different languages and keyboards are supported. When you have found the language you want to type in, click the "+" sign and then again beside "Keyboard." Choose the keyboard layout from the ones available. Normally the default one at the top of the list is suitable. Click "OK" once you're satisfied.
If you have selected the keyboard layout that you primarily use, select it from the drop-down box underneath "Default input language." Click "OK" when you're done.
You can cycle through installed keyboard layouts by pressing and holding the "Alt" key and pressing "Shift." You'll see a small section on the bottom-right hand side of your taskbar showing you a two-letter code for the current input language (for example "EN" for English or "FR" for French).

2 - Changing Other Language Settings
Return to the control panel and click on "Clock, Language and Region." You can change your country by clicking on "Change location" in the next window. Selecting your location in the window which pops up will allow Windows and certain other programs to offer you exclusive settings and content for your location.
Return to the previous window and click "Change the date, time or number format." Here you can select your language. Again, hundreds of world languages are supported. This will allow the names of the months and days of the week to be displayed in your language as well as the standard time and date format used in your country. You can further customize this by clicking the "Additional Settings" button.

3 - Changing the Interface Language
Since Windows XP Professional, it has been possible to completely change the user interface language of your entire operating system without actually having to install a localized version of Windows. Not only is this enormously useful for deployment in multilingual workplaces; it's also useful for those who want to use Windows in a language which is not widely available, if at all, as a standalone version.
This feature is only available in the "Ultimate" editions of Windows Vista and Windows 7. You can download and install new user interface languages from the "Optional Updates" section of Windows Update. Once installed, you can choose from the available languages by going to "Region and Language" in the control panel. You'll need to log out and then back in again for the changes to take effect.


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