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How Do I Fix a Single Language Pair When Switching Keyboard Layout? Working in Multilingual Environment

    Question

  • Hello,

    Does anybody know how do I choose a single language pair that I use most frequently? I work in a multilingual environment and have to use 4 languages on a regular basis. That said, I commonly use only two of them — Russian and English. Having to scroll though all the 3 just to Switch to English to Russian just isn't practically comfortable. Personally I am finding it VERY irritating.

    It would be MUCH better if you could stick to a single language pair you use most frequently so that pressing Ctrl+Shift (of Alt+Shift, whatever is chosen) would switch between the languages in this pair only, and pressing WindowsKey+Space would switch between all the available pairs.

    Is it possible?

    Thank you.


    Well this is the world we live in And these are the hands we're given...
    Wednesday, December 21, 2011 11:45 AM

Answers

  • It would be MUCH better if you could stick to a single language pair you use most frequently


    What keyboard are you using?  E.g. if an MS keyboard you might have a couple of unused buttons and be able to devise two "macros" to do what you want.   ; )

     

    Good luck

    Robert Aldwinckle
    ---

    Thursday, December 22, 2011 6:41 PM

All replies

  • One easy way is that move your mouse to left down corner of screen and you will see start charm and then chose setting and in setting you could change your language in any screen.
    Wednesday, December 21, 2011 3:49 PM
  • Hi,

    Thanks for posting. Unfortunately, this doesn't work for me. Or could you possibly explain it further to me? Say, while in IE Metro I press WindowsKey+C to show charms and select Settings. The right-panel opens. There's no language bar in it. Am I missing something?

    Second, to recap, I need to quickly switch between two of the languages, not all of them.

    Thanks.


    Well this is the world we live in And these are the hands we're given...
    Thursday, December 22, 2011 8:35 AM
  • In setting are you seeing menus like Power, Sound, etc?

    Then you should also see EN, it is for change language. You could add and remove language or set shortcut in control panel and language and settings. You should add language that you want first, before be able to switch between language.

    Thursday, December 22, 2011 1:30 PM
  • Thursday, December 22, 2011 2:48 PM
  • Yeah, but that's pretty much the same you get in a shorter way, just by pressing WindowsKey+Space. Thanks, but that does not give an answer, unfortunately.


    Well this is the world we live in And these are the hands we're given...
    Thursday, December 22, 2011 3:31 PM
  • Sorry, Sir, I think you were just joking. Nope, Irfan that article just doesn't tell a bit about switchin between a limited set of installed layouts.
    Well this is the world we live in And these are the hands we're given...
    Thursday, December 22, 2011 3:33 PM
  • Do you get the different language options when you click on the Charms and then settings button?
    If not, what language is listed there?
    Marilyn
    Thursday, December 22, 2011 6:32 PM
    Moderator
  • It would be MUCH better if you could stick to a single language pair you use most frequently


    What keyboard are you using?  E.g. if an MS keyboard you might have a couple of unused buttons and be able to devise two "macros" to do what you want.   ; )

     

    Good luck

    Robert Aldwinckle
    ---

    Thursday, December 22, 2011 6:41 PM
  • Hi Marilyn,

    Yup I have all the languages there. What I am trying to achieve isn't there at all. I don't what to pick the LCID of choice with mouse. I'd rather love pressing Ctrl+Shift to switch from RUS to ENG and back while having SPA and other languages intact. How do I do that? Is that possible?

    Thank you.


    Well this is the world we live in And these are the hands we're given...
    Thursday, December 22, 2011 8:10 PM
  • Oh, good lead here, Robert! Thank you. I am using Microsoft Natural Ergonomic 4000. I haven't used macros before and have completely forgotten them. But wait for a sec, how do I assign a macro to say My favourites? I would like those 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 buttons to toggle between the languages. But heck, that doesn't seem to be possible!

    Seesh, I wonder why it's that uncomfortable to work with multiple languages still? I hardly believe somebody uses ALL languages at a time and there's someone who needs languages switched in cycles. I rather think people use a couple of languages at a time and having a possibility to switch between language PAIRS would be just okay.


    Well this is the world we live in And these are the hands we're given...
    Thursday, December 22, 2011 8:20 PM
  • I would like those 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 buttons to toggle between the languages. But heck, that doesn't seem to be possible!


    You can express each one of what you want to do in terms of  Win+Space, plus Cursor moves, etc?   ; )

    Oh.  I'm assuming  Win-  can be used as a key in a macro...   And that the "Favorites" keys can be assigned macros...

    FWIW I have MyFavorites#1 assigned to mskey.exe.   Its Actions can be used to Launch Keyboard Properties.  Looks like the MyFavorites can't be used to create macros.   Perhaps they can be driven as files once created?...  According to the Share... button they are stored as  *.mhm  files.   So, let's try assigning an .mhm file to a MyFavorites... button...   Apparently you have to know the full path...   mhm does not have a program associated...   I guess they really don't want us using the My Favorites buttons for macros?   Too bad.   Use one of the other unused buttons instead?   E.g. at a minimum you could use the My Documents and My Videos buttons for something more useful since those two do have File path equivalents which could be opened by coding them in My Favorites buttons.

     

    Good luck

    Robert
    ---

    Friday, December 23, 2011 12:20 AM
  • Oh, pity that can't be done naturally through the OS's tools, but it is what it is.

    Still I am really surprised to see no improvements in this direction regarding support for multilingual environments in Windows Developer Preview. I fave the WindowsKey+C shortcut but I don't see any great use of it, if I am being honest.

    Thank you, everyone, and many thanks to Robert!


    Well this is the world we live in And these are the hands we're given...

    Friday, December 23, 2011 8:30 AM
  • I fave the WindowsKey+C shortcut but I don't see any great use of it


    It's  Win-Space  or  Win-Shift-Space  which you should be trying, even if you don't create macros for those.   Also note that when you have more than two keyboards defined  Win[hold]+Space+Space+Win[release]  (or analogously Win[hold]+Shift[hold]+Space+Space+Shift[release]+Win[release]) allows you to both toggle forward (and backward) two menu items while still seeing the menu on the screen if that seems necessary.   Otherwise I think I would just get into the habit of checking the Language label in the Taskbar.  FWIW I sometimes accidentally hit Win-Space and start seeing DSK instead of QWERTY (without noticing a keyboard menu), so maybe having three keyboards defined will reduce that.  FWIW I have DSK defined because it feels so moronic doing hunt-and-peck with the Touch Keyboard that using DSK then makes it more exciting if not faster once I get into that mode.  ; )

    Sorry for any confusion about adding Cursor keys into a macro for this.  That evidently won't work for this scenario.  E.g. you would clearly be limited by whatever combination of  Win Shift and Space (with the appropriate release of Win) you needed to use to do what you wanted.   I was on W7 when I was making my suggestions about macros and obviously hadn't studied the nuances of that W8 Win[hold]+Space keyboard menu to know what I was talking about off the top of my head as I was trying to.  I still think that a keyboard macro should work great but you may have to edit the .mhm file to get it working correctly.   E.g. have one called Previous keyboard implement Win-Shift-Space and one called Next keyboard implement just Win-Space.  Or toggle between two which are separated by one:  Win[hold]+Shift[hold]+Space+Space+Shift[release]+Win[release]  and  Win[hold]+Space+Space+Win[release].   Etc.

    Another approach which would not even require Intellitype to implement is creating a script (WSH or perhaps PowerShell) to either do a SendKeys implementation of what you want to emulate or the actual registry changes for what you want done.  And then drive your script via a keyboard shortcut--perhaps then even one of your My Favorites buttons.   You could use ProcMon to trace those registry changes, filtering with Operation Is RegSetValue.

     

    Good luck

    Robert
    ---

    Friday, December 23, 2011 4:43 PM
  • Hello Exotic Hadron, 

    I suggest you send feedback on the multiple language issue you have run into so the developer can know about it.
    You can submit feedback using the Windows Feedback Tool from the Connect Site associated with your Windows Developer Preview program.
    If you’re an MSDN subscriber, the information on how to join the Connect program is included on the download page where you installed Windows Developer Preview. There’s a link to the Connect site and an invitation code that you can click on to join using a Windows Live ID account. If you’re not an MSDN subscriber follow this limited use
    link to join the Connect program and then follow the steps here.

    If you are prompted for an invitation code, please enter the following key. MSDN-76H9-3CFP

    https://connect.microsoft.com/site1147/InvitationUse.aspx?ProgramID=7221&InvitationID=MSDN-76H9-3CFP


    Marilyn
    Saturday, December 24, 2011 4:04 PM
    Moderator
  • Hi Marilyn,

    Thanks for your suggestion! Sure, I'll send the response, and yes I am an MSDN subscriber. What category would you suggest for choosing in Windows Feedback Tool?

    Thank you.


    Well this is the world we live in And these are the hands we're given...
    Saturday, December 24, 2011 6:30 PM
  • Thanks, Robert! I'll play with it, although I don't personally like SendKeys because I think it will make me messing with my anti-virus software. Though, who knows, worth checking. And of course, I just don't want to reinvent the wheel for Microsoft. Seriously, seeing language management problems like that in XXI is kinda like seeing problems with starting car's engine. It's start'n'go, we have no time to lose.

    Still, I am bit disappointed with what we got in WDP regarding the language bar. Having all other improvements I saw, I bet I'd swear on Bible there ARE improvements if somebody asked me if there are improvements in multilingual experience in Windows Developer Preview, because I've read about them on the internet. Unfortunately, as often is the case, you shouldn't trust everything you read.

    I hope we'll get major improvements in managing languages and typing in multiple layouts, in the final version of the OS. What I see for now reminds me of XP days what isn't good at all. Okay, I fancy all these bells and whistles of language bar but they're almost useful, nothing but the changed look and feel. I don't feel I am alone with this problem. It's obvious that with every new day more and more people will need a good tool to effectively communicate with their colleagues worldwide. Standard one-LCID-per-system approach doesn't work anymore.


    Well this is the world we live in And these are the hands we're given...

    Saturday, December 24, 2011 6:46 PM
  • I would like those 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 buttons to toggle between the languages. But heck, that doesn't seem to be possible!


    Use one of the other unused buttons instead?   E.g. at a minimum you could use the My Documents and My Videos buttons for something more useful since those two do have File path equivalents which could be opened by coding them in My Favorites buttons.


    I have had another look at this, both on W7 and W8, and only just now have realized how limited the designed functionality is.   Another example of lack of generality IMO.

    FWIW on first look there appear to be improvements.  E.g. the same functionality is still present but more available to someone who might not have known how to use it before.   E.g. instead of having to right-click on the Language bar and choose Settings...  we can just click it and pick Change Language Preferences.   That gets you directly into the equivalent of the Language "tab" of the Regional Settings applet of the Control Panel.   From there you can choose Advanced Settings.    I assume you must have been there (somehow) in order to add all those Languages?  In particular there, under Switching input language, is a link Change language bar hot keys.   Then I see the apparent opportunity to give a specific keyboard shortcut for each keyboard I have defined.   I only have one Language so I hope this information is relevant for your case too?   So, everything looks rosy until we click on  Change Key Sequence...  for Between Input Languages  WTH?   At most you can only choose one keyboard shortcut for cycling among your languages and one keyboard shortcut for cycling among your keyboards.  Is that useful?  Win+Space and Win+Shift+Space seem more useful to me and I can't imagine anybody doing multiple languages wanting to give up the Grave key.  Nothing like the implied generality given by that Advanced Key Settings tab.  I really don't understand what the implied functionality would be to have both anyway.  

    Fortunately, depending on your list, I think there is still good news.   E.g. do you see keyboards listed there too?  Select one and use the Change Key Sequence command on it.   Do you see?   Those allow real keyboard shortcuts.   I suspect there is generality there.   E.g. you could either have specific shortcuts for each keyboard or (perhaps) even create a separate cycle for a set of them (e.g. by using the same key sequence on the ones you wanted to cycle).  Again, though, this will depend on whether there is real generality in the functional design.   I suppose I could test this instead of just speculate about it...   Foiled again, by the creators of non-general UI.   I tried to make  Ctrl+Shift+~  my shortcut for my first keyboard and then when I confidently went to make it my shortcut for my second keyboard too, the tilde wasn't there any more.   ; ]

    The net implications of these experiments are that you can do what you want and relatively simply by assigning unique keyboard shortcuts to each keyboard that you want to switch to and then creating macros for those and assigning them to some unused keys.   Not to those My Favorites buttons though because as we already know those keys' functionality has been deliberately designed to lack the generality that we want and need.

     

    HTH

    Robert
    ---


    Wednesday, December 28, 2011 4:37 AM
  • That Language Bar page has information that may be useful for Windows 7 and earlier. In Windows 8, however, the Language Bar UI is not used by default.

     

    - Peter

    Thursday, January 05, 2012 6:08 AM
  • @Exotic Hadron:

    As already mentioned, Win+Space will cycle forward through your language list, and Win+Shift+Space will cycle backwards through your language list.

    You can also use Win+[Space, N] sequences where N is a number key 1 to n for however many input languages you have. For instance, Win+[Space, 2] will always go to the second language in the list. (You have to keep the Win key held down until you have pressed the number key.)

    (If someone has more than one keyboard layout for a language--e.g., both QWERTY and Dvorak layouts for English (US) language--then those will each count as separate items in the 1 to n list.)

    You mentioned that you are using the Microsoft Natural Ergonomic 4000 keyboard, which is macro capable. You can assign Win+[Space, N] sequences to keys on that keyboard. Here's a screenshot from the macro editor dialog showing what it would look like for the Win+[Space, 1] combination:

    You may see the input-language switch flyout UI flash while such a macro runs; that is a known issue that will get reviewed before release.

    For some reason, the MS Natural Ergonomic 4000 doesn't appear to let you program the 1 to 5 Favorites keys; I'm not sure why, but that's a limitation with that keyboard, not Windows 8's language switching.

     

    I hope that helps.

     

    - Peter

     

     

     


    Thursday, January 05, 2012 11:35 PM