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Keyboard and/or Input Language Keep Switching



You work on an English version of Windows, but your working language is, for example, Italian. You set your default Input Language to Italian but sometimes Windows changes this setting automatically when you switch applications (and thus you may get a different Keyboard Layout as well).

This may alter Proofing Language in Office too.


Platform / Software Affected

This affects all Windows versions (XP, Vista and 7) and as a consequence all applications running under Windows (including MS Office and the Sign-In Tool).


Technical Explanation

In Windows the Input Language can be programmed to be maintained "per application" and even "per window" (in fact, multiple Internet Explorer windows can each have each their own language) via a Windows API that changes the input locale, to a different and/or default keyboard layout, if it is enabled for the user.

Moreover, some Microsoft applications, like MS Office, try to "understand" the language used by the user when typing a document, mail or presentation, thus changes the Input Language (and Keyboard Layout, if available) accordingly.

Windows is known to be very poor at handling multiple input languages, and/or interpreting a user's input language thus it sometimes happens that it does not even remember the language used inside a single application when switching a lot.



The best solution is to choose just one Input Language and Keyboard Layout and remove all other ones. Using US International as only Keyboard Layout can be of an advantage as it allows to input many more characters and symbols than available on the hardware keyboard.

The following steps are for Windows Vista and may vary slightly in other Windows versions:

  1. Right-click the Language Bar (in the Tray Bar) and choose Settings... (or go to Control Panel Regional and Language Options);
  2. Go to Keyboards and Languages tab and click on Change keyboards...;
  3. Select the keyboard(s) you don't have and click the Remove button (note that the default combination on all EUI computer is English UK Input Language with US International as Keyboard Layout);
  4. Finally hit OK twice.

Page last updated on 17 August 2017

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