It is easy to use the system when you have a single language setup. However, people who want to type in multiple languages need to add additional keyboard layouts and input sources. The good thing about Windows 11 is that it gives you the flexibility of adding a new keyboard layout by installing a language and allows switching between different input sources easily. It is also possible to remap the keys instead of changing the language if that suffice your need. Check out this article for installing a language if you are still using Windows 10
Keyboard Layout and Input Source
The term “keyboard layout” maybe misleading in Windows as it means adding a new language. In this case, you can have a fixed physical keyboard and switch the language when typing.
On other hand, you may want to change the QWERT layout to AZERT or any other layout based on the language you want to type. In this case, you should change the input source for the added language (keyboard layout). For example, you may want to use AZERT as input source when typing French for convenience. Here, typing letter Q will be interpreted as A, W will be Z and so on. This means you should know the mapping for typing or your physical keyboard should display the letters on the keys like below.
Add New Keyboard Layout or New Language
Whenever you add a new language in Windows 11, a new keyboard layout is added with that language.
- Click on the language switcher icon in the System Tray of your Taskbar and then press on the “More keyboard settings” option. If language switcher is not showing in Taskbar, open Windows Settings app and navigate to “Time & language > Language & region” section.
- Click on “Add a language” button and choose a language you want to install from the list. You can check the available features for the selected language whether it can support text-to-speech, speech recognition, etc. and click on the “Next” button.
- Windows will search for the available language features and show you the details. Check the needed options and click the “Install” button to add the selected language.
- Now, click on the language switcher in Taskbar and you will see the newly added language appears there.
- You can switch the language anytime from language bar or using “Windows + Spacebar” shortcut and type when needed.
If you want to change the sequence appearing in the language bar, go to “Settings > Time & language > Language & region” section. Click the three dots icon showing in front of the language and select “Move up” or “Move down” option as shown in the below image. Windows will consider the first language you set in the sequence as the system display language.
Note: As you can see in the above screenshots, Windows Single Language licensed version will not show you an option for setting new language as your display language when installing. However, you can still install new languages and use them only for typing. In this case, all the applications will show menu items with the language as per your Windows license. When you have multiple languages license (like Windows Pro), you can anytime change the display language of system settings and menu items in the apps. Learn more on how to change display language in Windows single language version.
Removing Keyboard Layouts
And if you want to remove any keyboard layout, simply go back to the Settings and click on the three dots in front of the language. Now, select “Remove” to delete the language from the list. This will remove the installed language pack and the keyboard layout appearing in language switcher.
Changing Input Source Method
When you install a language, the corresponding input method will also be installed and assigned to that language. However, you can change this if required especially when using languages like Chinese which has multiple styles.
- Go to “Settings > Time & language > Language & region”.
- Click the three dots icon against the language and select “Language options” menu.
- Scroll down to “Keyboards” section and check the input method is showing below “Installed keyboards” section.
- If not, click “Add a keyboard” button showing against “Installed keyboards” heading.
- You will see a list of available keyboard input methods and select the one you are familiar with typing.
- The selected input method will show in the list and will be linked to the language when you type.
Customizing Input Source Method Editor
Some input sources like Chinese Pinyin also offers further customizing options. In addition, you can setup shortcut for switching input method without changing the language.
- Click on the three dots icon against the added input method and select “Keyboard options” menu.
- You will see the list of available options and click on the “General” section.
- Here you can change the style, default setting and auto correction option.
- Similarly, you can set the shortcut keys for mode switching under “Keys” section. The mode switching is super useful to switch the input source without changing the language like from Chinese to English or from Simplified Chinese to Traditional Chinese.
You can go through other sections and customize the input source for your convenience.
Remapping Keyboard Keys
If you do not want to use different input source, then there is a possibility that you can just remap particular keys in your keyboard. In fact, you can do this without any additional languages when some keys are broken in the keyboard.
- Download and install Microsoft PowerToys app from Microsoft Store.
- Open the app, go to “Keyboard Manager” section and click on “Open Settings” button.
- Next, select the “Remap a key” option.
- Now click on the + sign and add your keys in the respective sections of “Physical Key” and “Mapped To” and press “OK”.
You can remap single or combination of keys as per your need. Learn more details of how to map keyboard keys with PowerToys app.
Adding a new language or keyboard layout is an easy task in Windows 11 when you want to use multiple languages for typing. The input source will be assigned by default when installing a language and you can change it if required. In addition, there are also possibilities to customize input methods and remap the keys using PowerToys apps.