Better International Keyboard Suggestion

Using the international keyboard to be able to easily type accented characters and ñ is useful, but fellow typists may agree that there are a few very annoying "features" that come with it.

For starters, pressing the single or double quotes key needs confirmation before adding the character. Second, trying to use a quote before vowel causes accented letters(These two problems are actually the same problem...)

The third problem is that the right alt key (alt gr as it is often labeled) is used to activate the special characters that you do want, but not left alt. This is annoying for trained typists because instinctively we want to use left alt for keys on the right side of the keyboard, and right alt for keys on the left side, as with shift and control.

For most people, it will probably be fine just switching between US and International keyboards. But if you're spoiled rotten like myself and you don't want the trouble, and would prefer one keyboard, here is a solution.

The quote 'problem' is because of dead key properties assigned to that key. It can be fixed by downloading Microsoft's custom keyboard layout, loading the international keyboard layout, right clicking the quote key, and unchecking dead key. This also needs to be done with the shift version, by checking an option on the right of the virtual keyboard. Build the dll in the top menu, open the save directory, and run the installer. You should have to log out and back in, and you will now have your own custom keyboard. You can also add your favorite unicode characters while you're at it. ☯ ⚣ ☮ NOTE: This will make it more difficult to type ü or similar characters, but they're far more rare so it's still worth it, and you can always map those characters in some other way while you're making your keyboard.

The Alt GR problem requires a registry edit, which is a bit more involved. Luckily, I found a third party app that does it for you, but it's not by a reputable publisher like Microsoft...

It's fairly intuitive. Just use the 'from' menu and find left alt. Then use the 'to' menu and find right alt. This will make them identical. Mind you, if you don't want to do this, control + alt on the left can be an alternative to just pressing alt.

I realise most people probably won't care enough to go through this trouble, but I hope the ones who do are able to find this.

I'll be able to help trouble shoot for anyone who can't figure it out.

1 year ago

  • 13
  • 12
  • 8
  • 7
  • 5
  • 4

Why not install Microsoft's own keyboards for the languages you're learning? No multi-key shortcuts are required for accents or letters, you can switch between the keyboards with shift + tab, and there's no need to dive into regedit.

1 year ago

Pretty sure I touched on switching between keyboards in there. I don't want to, I want one keyboard to work for everything.

1 year ago
Learn a language in just 5 minutes a day. For free.