Scare quotes.
May 17, 2006 6:22 PM   Subscribe

Why does Windows think I want to permanently type in "accent character" mode?

On the PC I'm currently using, both the ' and " keys don't do what they're supposed to. Pressing " for instance, doesn't make anything appear on the screen, until I type the next letter or press space. If the next letter happens to be a vowel, then it gets umlauts. For instance, if I type " followed by a, I get:


The ' key does the exact same thing. As you can imagine, this makes it very difficult to type normal sentances. It happens in every program, from Notepad to Firefox to Word. I know that this sort of functionality is usually accessed by pressing the ALT key before typing the quotes, but it seems to be stuck on permanently. I've never seen this before, and have no idea how to turn it off - any ideas? Windows XP Professional, Service Pack 2 with Office 2003 installed.
posted by Jimbob to Computers & Internet (7 answers total)
Best answer: You want the default input language to be "English (United States) - US". Make sure it is by going to Control Panel --> Regional and Language Options --> Languages --> Details.
posted by gubo at 6:40 PM on May 17, 2006

Response by poster: Done and done.
posted by Jimbob at 6:44 PM on May 17, 2006

No, the above is incorrect, you can still have the input language as English (Australian), the keyboard layout has to be US however.
posted by wilful at 8:49 PM on May 17, 2006

Response by poster: Yep, I sorted it out. Keyboard layout was set to US-International or something, and I changed it to US-Australian and it works much better.
posted by Jimbob at 9:37 PM on May 17, 2006

See previously (asked by me, and not very clear at first).
posted by wilful at 10:45 PM on May 17, 2006

Response by poster: Ha, I missed your question wilful, I couldn't find the right word (doublequotes) to search for. I don't know why they set these computers up to do this by default.
posted by Jimbob at 10:50 PM on May 17, 2006

They do it because very few people know what it does, and clearly Australia is not the US, so it must need an international keyboard layout.

The other thing that I often see that's been stuffed up during initial Windows installation is that English (Australian) gets added as an input language and made the default, but English (US) isn't then removed. Which means you get this hokey little Language Bar, that nobody I've ever met knows how to use, cluttering up your task bar and/or desktop.

Hint to Windows setup people: after changing the default input language to something other than English (US), click Apply. Then you will be able to remove English (US) without having Windows complain that it's still in use.
posted by flabdablet at 3:19 AM on May 18, 2006

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