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I'm using the Language Bar in Windows 7 to switch between English and Japanese. In 'Japanese' mode the bar has a few extra buttons for switching between the various alphabets / width styles - image 1:

JP language bar - buttons clickable

However, occasionally the buttons switch to a state where they are seemingly 'locked', i.e. they can't be pressed or changed (image 2)

enter image description here

I have no idea why this happens, and it prevents me from switching between the alphabets I require. What causes this?

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I know think it has something to do with whether you are currently in an editable area (browser bar, text field, Word doc) but a proper explanation would be great. – codinghands Nov 15 '12 at 9:52
up vote 1 down vote accepted

I believe this is what you are looking for - The Language bar (overview)

The set of buttons and options on the Language bar changes depending on the text services you have installed and the software program that's currently active. For example, WordPad supports speech recognition, but Notepad does not. If both programs are running, the speech buttons appear when WordPad is active, but disappear when you make Notepad the active program.

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