Still More Screwy Keyboard Problems

I’m completely baffled. I thought that the screwy keyboard character issue was restricted just to Firefox, but this morning I saw the same problem with Outlook 2007 when I tried to type a question mark I’d get an “ѐ” character. The same problem cropped up in Firefox, but in a Windows Live Messenger chat window I had no problem getting a question mark? I’m officially getting ticked off at this problem…what kind of a problem would effect keyboard input on a per-application basis rather than system wide? Restarting Outlook fixed the problem, but that doesn’t help me narrow down what’s causing it.

  • duhrich

    do you have your keyboard configured as a Canadian keyboard? I don’t know why it would be app-specific, but I’ve had similar problems when telling Windows I have a Canadian keyboard. Even though I’m in Canada, I always just pick US keyboard layouts, and it seems to fix the problem.

    It seems that Canadian usually == French Canadian, and English Canadian is the same as US.

  • Hmm. I had it configured as “English (Canada) – US”, and that was the default, but I did notice that French was an option that was installed. I’ve removed it and now the ONLY option is US. Thanks for the advice, I have a hunch that might fix the problem. What a bizarre bug that would cause a shift in the keyboard language input options…

  • By default pressing Alt + Shift will change to the next keyboard layout.
    Could it be that you every now and then press these two keys simultaneously?

  • Alt+Shift you say? Hrm. That’s entirely possible – I type fast and hit random keys now and then…you’d think there’s be some sort of indicator telling you that you’d switched keyboards. I haven’t had the problem since removing the other keyboard layouts, so we’ll see…

  • You could verify if you have the Left Alt + Shift problem or not by trying the following:

    1. Add the other keyboard layouts that you had previously installed.
    2. Right click on the keyboard language icon in the taskbar and select “Settings…”.
    3. In the Preferences group click on the “Key Settings…” button.
    4. Select the “Switch between input languages” item (if not already selected).
    5. Click on the “Change Key Sequence…” button.
    6. Uncheck “Switch input languages” and “Switch keyboard layouts” checkboxes and click the “OK” button.
    7. Verify that the direct switch to language key is set to (None). If not then:
    a. Select item where key is enabled.
    b. Click on the “Change Key Sequence…” button.
    c. Uncheck the “Enable Key Sequence” checkbox and click the “OK” button.
    d. Repeat Step 7 until all items are set to (None).
    8. Click the “OK” button.

    Now use your computer as normal.

    If your problem with the keyboard does not reoccur (which I assume it won’t) then the problem was that you were accidentilly changing your keyboard by using the assigned shortcut.

    I have had this problem myself as well as problems when certain functions to aid the handicapped are activated – like holding the Shift key down for a couple of seconds.

  • Windows XP does a horrible job of sticking to one keyboard input type. This only happens when you have more than 1 possible keyboard layout mapped. I happen to use US Dvorak layout, and if a coworker needs to use my PC I’ll add Qwerty, but Windows randomly changes the layout, despite what the main layout is.

    And no I’m not accidentally hitting the ALT shortcut mistake, it truly does happen on it’s own. So you’re not alone with this problem, it’s a flaw in Windows XP. I have no idea if it’s been fixed in Vista.