Revision as of 16:56, 20 March 2009 by Petar Mitrevski (talk | contribs)

The Language Schools need the most help with setting up languages on their computers, but we see a little of this during the year too. This page covers how to set up a computer to display in and type in other languages.

Input methods

Typing in a foreign language.

Windows XP / Vista

(For WinXP)

  1. Go to Start -> Settings -> Control Panel
  2. Regional and Language Options -> Languages tab -> click Details
  3. Click Add to add new keyboard input layouts.
  4. Also look for the Language Bar button to add the language switcher to the taskbar.
  5. We need a section on adding support for east Asian, Arabic, Cyrillic, etc. -- A Windows install CD is needed for this...
  6. If adding Chinese, see the section on Typing in Chinese

Use the on-screen keyboard to see where each letter is, when your current input method is not the same layout as the layout of the keyboard you are using.

  • To start OSK on WinXP: Start -> Run -> osk and press enter
  • To start OSK on Vista: Start -> type in osk and press enter


  1. Apple menu -> System Preferences -> International
  2. Under the Input tab, look for the desired input method on the list. Check the checkbox next to it. The input switcher icon will appear to the left of the clock.

Show the on-screen keyboard: Click on the input switcher menu near the clock, then look for "Show keyboard" menu item. If it's not there, try going to System Preferences -> International -> Input and look for an item on the list to enable that says "Show Keyboard".

Change the entire system's language

This section guides you through changing the language of the entire system (e.g. changing English menus, buttons, programs so that they appear in a different language). Not to be confused with typing in a foreign language.


  1. Apple menu -> System Preferences -> International
  2. Under the Languages tab, look for the desired language on the list. Drag it to the top of the list, then log out and log back in to your account.

Windows XP / Vista

In Windows XP you need to buy and install a special international edition of Windows to have multiple languages available.

Does anyone know whether Vista makes this easier?

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