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  1. Joined : Nov 2015
    Posts : 95
    Windows XP, 7, 8.1, 10, Knoppix [Debian] linux
       17 Oct 2016 #1

    Using PC with European keyboard with US version of Windows


    Have been doing some casual on-again off-again shopping for a tiny, light notebook for my wife, without having to spend $700+ for an Ultrabook.

    I was in Micro Center the other day, and noticed a Dell Inspiron 11 on display at what seemed to be a very good price. Then I noticed that, on the counter where the product description was posted, the sales people had hand written an addition: "EUROPEAN KEYBOARD" (did not specify for which country).

    Looking at the keyboard I saw a bunch of piggybacked additional characters in orange on some keys. In Control Panel, the keyboard selected was US English. Did some quick typing in Notepad and did notice anything odd. I took note of the model and left.

    When I checked prices online later, their price was about $100 less than elsewhere, even with my employer-sponsored Dell discount applied at the Dell web site.

    So I'm wondering: with some keys potentially moved, what are the practical day-to-day implications with Windows, as well as anything else I might have to ruin (I'm thinking live CD's for maintenance or repair: PartEdMagic, Macrium Reflect, other Linux, etc). I'm fearing this might be a show-stopper if something is pre-built for a US keyboard, but having no such experience I'm not really sure.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


  2. Joined : Oct 2013
    A Finnish ex-pat in Germany
    Posts : 9,104
    Windows 10 Pro
       17 Oct 2016 #2

    The physical keyboard layout is completely irrelevant, you can type Portuguese on a laptop bought in France with French AZERTY physical keyboard.

    Living expat life in my adopted home country I buy / get most of my hardware here. It means that physical keyboards are German, so called QWERTZ instead of Scandinavian QWERTY layout I'm used to. On this PC I am using to reply to your post, I have UK English Windows 10 PRO, physical keyboard with German layout, and default input language (Windows keyboard layout) set to either Finnish or Swedish. I can switch the input language as I wish from language button in notification area:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    (Please notice, screenshot might look odd because I keep Taskbar vertical at left.)

    According to my needs I can select any of installed input languages. As I mentioned I am normally using either Finnish or Swedish input language, meaning I just have to remember that although a key on my German physical keyboard shows a German letter (it's double S, as in Strae (street) which can also be written as Strasse), I get a + sign from that key instead, that although a key on my physical keyboard shows German letters I get Scandinavian letters from the same key, or that although physical keyboard shows I need to press AltGr + Q to get the @ sign, I need to press AltGr+ 2 instead. And so on.

    No worries, you will never have any issues using that physical keyboard with any application, with whatever input language you select in Windows settings.

    Sounds complicated but you will get used to it

    Kari

    P.S. If you are interested, I am quite sure I can tell you exactly which regional / national physical keyboard layout you have. Just take a pic of it and post here.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3.    17 Oct 2016 #3

    Kari: great post. You have obviously spent waaaaaaaaaaay too much time messing around with keyboard layouts. Given your multi-multi-linguistic situation, that's also obviously been forced upon you by brute necessity. Thanks for sharing,
    --Ed--
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


  4. Joined : Oct 2013
    A Finnish ex-pat in Germany
    Posts : 9,104
    Windows 10 Pro
       17 Oct 2016 #4

    Thanks Ed.

    I usually manage with Finnish or Swedish layout, being totally able to type in all Scandinavian languages, English and German with that with an exception of two German letters; if and when I need to type in German I need to switch to German input language to get those two letters not present in any other layout I use, and ( has no lower/upper case).

    Anyway, my point in my previous post was that the whereabouts of your physical keyboard are totally irrelevant; if a user so wants he can buy a French Logitech MK710 keyboard to replace his broken Italian MK710 one, pop out all key caps from both and replace the original keys in new French keyboard with old ones from now broken Italian device (works as long as both keyboards are same make and model ).

    The only thing that matters is what input language is selected in Windows.

    Kari
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5.    17 Oct 2016 #5

    I hear you, Kari: I've cannibalized a few keycaps myself. I type so much, I regularly beat the printing off the C and M keys on my keyboards. I've scavenged more than a few such keys at Goodwill, garage sales, or the trash to start somewhat less worn out. Weshalb wohnen Sie jetzt in Deutschland? Ich bin Amerikaner, aber wuchs in Deutschland auf (mein Vater war beim Armee da).
    Vielen Dank,
    --Ed--
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


  6. Joined : Oct 2013
    A Finnish ex-pat in Germany
    Posts : 9,104
    Windows 10 Pro
       17 Oct 2016 #6

    EdTittel said: View Post
    Weshalb wohnen Sie jetzt in Deutschland? Ich bin Amerikaner, aber wuchs in Deutschland auf (mein Vater war beim Armee da).
    Vielen Dank,
    --Ed--

    Click image for larger version. 

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    LOL! Ich komme doch aus Finnland, aber habe im Ausland seit 30 Jahren gelebt. Hier (Leipzig, Sachsen) bin ich seit 2006, von Rom Italien nach hier umgezogen.


    Click image for larger version. 

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    I'm from Finland, but have been living abroad about 30 years now. Moved here (Leipzig, Saxony) from Rome back in 2006.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


  7. Joined : Nov 2015
    Posts : 95
    Windows XP, 7, 8.1, 10, Knoppix [Debian] linux
       17 Oct 2016 #7

    Kari said: View Post
    No worries, you will never have any issues using that physical keyboard with any application, with whatever input language you select in Windows settings.

    Sounds complicated but you will get used to it

    Kari

    P.S. If you are interested, I am quite sure I can tell you exactly which regional / national physical keyboard layout you have. Just take a pic of it and post here.
    Thanks. Since, as I indicated, the keyboard in question is mounted on a notebook computer sitting on a store shelf, I would have to go back there in order to photograph it.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8.    17 Oct 2016 #8

    Deutsch:
    Ich wuchs auf in dem wunderschoenen Stadt Heidelberg, wo wir ueberletzten Sommer nochmal besucht haben. Es freut mich immer mein Deutsch zu ueben. I arbeite auch manchmal als Dolmetcher, technischen Artikeln von Deutch auf Englisch zu uebersetzen. Die Familie meiner Frau wohnt jetzt in Deutschland -- sie kommen aus Kyrgyzstan, aber ihren Uhrmitglieder kamen zuerst auch aus Sachsen, zuerst nach Russland und dan spaeter nach Kyrgyzstan, und benuetzten den Wiederkehrprogramm nach Deutschland im Jahre 2002 danach to uebersielden -- und wir reisen dort vielleicht jedes zweites oder drittes Jahr. Vielleicht koennen wir uns auf einmal Treffen? Ich moechte sowieso Leipzig zu besuchen.

    English:
    I grew up in the wonderful and scenic town of Heidelberg, which we revisited two summers ago. I'm always glad to practice my German. Sometimes, I work as a translator, and translate technical articles from German into English. My wife's family now live in Germany -- they came from Kyrgyzstan, but originally lived in Saxony, then went to Russia and eventually to Kyrgyzstan, and used the German "return program" to move to Germany in 2002 -- and we visit them every two or three years there. Maybe we could meet sometime? I have always wanted to visit Leipzig in any case.

    Thanks!
    --Ed--
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


  9. Joined : Oct 2013
    A Finnish ex-pat in Germany
    Posts : 9,104
    Windows 10 Pro
       17 Oct 2016 #9

    EdTittel said: View Post
    Maybe we could meet sometime? I have always wanted to visit Leipzig in any case.
    We can have a beer (if I have to pay) or seven (if you pay) when you will visit wife's folks next time
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


  10. Joined : Oct 2013
    A Finnish ex-pat in Germany
    Posts : 9,104
    Windows 10 Pro
       17 Oct 2016 #10

    mike s said: View Post
    Thanks. Since, as I indicated, the keyboard in question is mounted on a notebook computer sitting on a store shelf, I would have to go back there in order to photograph it.
    Sorry, I misunderstood.

    Anyway, as I said you will have no issues to use it if you decide to buy it. The physical layout of the keyboard is irrelevant as long as you can cope with some characters coming from "wrong" key.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


 
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