I currently have two languages set up; English and Dutch. The only difference is in keyboard input. The Dutch one uses the French/Belgian AZERTY layout and the English one uses the Irish/English QWERTY layout (@ = Shift+').

When a Belgian colleague needs to use my computer, I switch the language to NL (Dutch) (therefore the input to AZERTY) using the language bar, but it seems to be application-specific. (I.e: After changing the input to AZERTY for my colleague, if he then clicks on another program it switches back to QWERTY for that program).

Is there a way I can quickly switch between the two comprehensively yet temporarily?

1 Answer 1


Since you mentioned that you already set up two different keyboard layouts, you can also turn on "Switch between input languages".

In Windows XP go to: Control Panel > Regional and Language Options > Languages tab > Details button > Settings tab > Key Settings > Switch between input languages.

This should enable you to quickly change the language/keyboard layout when you press the e.g. Left Alt+Shift combination on your keyboard. This only has sense if you installed two or more languages/keyboard layouts.

Second approach could be considering giving your friend a different windows profile on your PC. That way both of you can use your own separate settings and use same applications on same computer. For this solution switching required log off/log on.

Hope this helps to resolve your problem.

  • Nope. This is still application-specific. Nice shortcut though.
    – Adam Lynch
    Sep 3, 2012 at 8:34
  • So far I haven't seen any other solutions to this problem other than having only one keyboard layout/language installed on the system, which I doubt is what you wanted in the first place :) Sep 3, 2012 at 8:36
  • I personally would prefer just QWERTY but for colleagues to pair program (etc) with me on my computer, and vice versa, we need a good solution to this.
    – Adam Lynch
    Sep 3, 2012 at 8:42
  • Got it :) and edited answer :) Sep 3, 2012 at 8:45
  • 1
    Oh really? "Feature". Thanks anyway :)
    – Adam Lynch
    Sep 3, 2012 at 13:26

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