How to Use Multiple Languages in Windows

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Windows offers a completely internationalized usability. Users are able to activate various language inputs, thus being able to switch between languages as they type. This allows them to type international special characters without the need to use Alt codes.

Windows relies on two settings when deciding in what language you are going to type.

These settings can be set and changed in Control Panel > Clock, Language, and Region > Region and Language > Change keyboards or other input methods.

Selecting Input Languages

Click on the Change keyboards… button in the Keyboards and Languages tab of the Region and Language window.

The Text Services and Input Languages window opens up. Click on the Add… button.

Now you are in the Add Input Language window where you can select the languages that you want to be able to use. When you are done selecting, click OK, Apply, and OK again.

Click image to enlarge

Click image to enlarge

Now you can switch between all installed languages using the Left Alt + Shift keyboard shortcut and type using the corresponding language’s keyboard layout.

The active input language will be used by any other input device besides the keyboard as well.

Setting the System Locale

The second setting is the system locale. The active system locale decides what characters are displayed when producing special characters using the Right Alt and Left Alt ways.

In other words by setting the system locale you decide which code page will be used to display characters.

Click image to enlarge

Click image to enlarge

To set or change the system locale, go to Control Panel > Clock, Language, and Region > Region and Language > Change keyboards or other input methods.

In the Region and Language window select the Administrative tab.

In the Administrative tab click on the Change system locale… button.

In the Region and Language Settings window select your system locale from the drop-down menu.

To save your settings, click OK and Apply.

After changing the system locale, Windows will ask you to reboot your computer for the changes to take effect.

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