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Instaling a non-English Keyboard

by hokkaidoken / November 19, 2006 7:45 PM PST

When I installed my genuine registered Windows XP-Pro with Service Pack 2, I was using an IBM English only keyboard. Recently I bought and installed the multi-lingual MS Office 2003 so that my daughter could work in Japanese. I uninstalled the English keyboard and installed a Japanese USB keyboard, which XP detected, identified and indicated that everything was fine. I then went to the Regional and Language section of the Control Panel and set up the Japanese options. I can indeed type Japanese characters using IME, BUT the keyboard layout is assumed to be the original English one and therefore a number of special characters do not line up with the location of those characters identified on the Japanese keyboard. Windows never asked me to specifically identify the layout of the keyboard or number of keys as I recall it did when installing the OS.

How do I get the system to recognize the keyboard as a Japanese keyboard layout? Do I need to change something in the registry or actually reinstall Windows XP to tell it I am using a different keyboard layout? I was under the impression that I could actually have two different keyboards connected and switch between them, similar to the way I can switch between languages to type Word documents.

If there is a simple solution to this annoyance (I have pretty much memorized where the special characters are located) it will be much appreciated.

Hokkaido Ken

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Re: non-English keyboard
by Kees Bakker / November 19, 2006 7:52 PM PST
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Thanks for the link
by hokkaidoken / November 21, 2006 9:20 AM PST

I appreciate the link to the site that provides a detailed explanation of installing keyboard layouts and languages. Unfortunately, after trying all of those tips the layout remains QWERTY, so the special characters are in the wrong location. I am coming to the conclusion that the cheap keyboard I bought is not truly known to Microsoft and therefore it assumes the standard International layout. There was no driver or other software provided with the keyboard. I will take it to the shop and ask them to install it and prove to me that it can function as the layout appears on the keys.

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(NT) It would be interesting to read how it goes.
by Kees Bakker / November 21, 2006 8:33 PM PST
In reply to: Thanks for the link
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hokkaido ken, you could also check this out
by jonah jones / November 21, 2006 12:24 PM PST
Japanes keyboard Images

just curious, does your Japanes keyboard have only japanese characters, or is it a regular keyboard with two letters/symbols on each key?

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Keyboard description
by hokkaidoken / November 21, 2006 8:22 PM PST

Hi Jonah,

All Japanese keyboards that I have seen have the English letters included on the keys alongside the Japanese hiragana characters. Some keys actually have four symbols on them, for example a number, special character like # and two hiragana characters. The keyboard also has additional keys included which only have Japanese kanji or hiragana descriptions. The space bar is much smaller to allow for extra keys.


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any plans i had to learn to touch type
by jonah jones / November 22, 2006 12:11 PM PST
In reply to: Keyboard description

in Japanes are now history Wink

what can i say, i thought i had a problem with a dual language keyboard (where the second is 'right to left')

having just re-read your post, i wonder if it's possible to have 2 keyboards connected via USB and type on whichever you need?

good luck...



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Connecting two keyboards at the same time
by hokkaidoken / November 23, 2006 7:16 AM PST

Hi Jonah,

I currently have both my English and Japanese keyboards connected and can use either one to type this reply without having to tell the OS which one I am using. One is USB and the other is PS/2 connected. I did the same thing on my wife's computer and her system only uses USB connections. Unfortunately, the OS considers both to be the same layout for special characters, when they are in fact different.

When I find out the answer to this annoyance I will let everyone know.


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