Change keyboard: How does it work?

Welcome to our blog about changing your keyboard on different types of computers! Whether you are a Windows, Mac or Linux user, it can sometimes happen that the characters of your computer have suddenly changed. Do not panic! this has been changed back a few simple steps. However, it may differ per type of computer.

In this blog, we'll take you through the different ways you can change the keyboard layout depending on the type of computer you're using. We'll share specific instructions and tips for Windows users, Mac users, and Linux users so you can learn step-by-step how to change your keyboard layout.

Change keyboard on Windows computer:

Changing your keyboard varies depending on the program your computer is using. To start, we explain how changing the layout of your keyboard works for a Windows computer:

  1. Go to the Start menu :
    Click the "Start" button in the lower left corner of the screen to open the Start menu.

  2. Open the Windows settings :
    Click the gear icon at the top of the Start menu to open Windows settings. This opens the "Settings" window.

  3. Search for "Time and language" :
    In the "Settings" window you can see various options. In the search box at the top of the window, type "Time and Language" and click on the corresponding search results that say "Time and Language." This will open the "Time and Language" window with the relevant options.

  4. Select "Region and language" :
    In the left pane of the "Time & Language" window, you'll see several options. Click on "Region and language". This will open the right pane of the "Time & Language" window with the region and language settings.

  5. Add a new language :
    In the right pane, under the "Languages" section, you will see the "Language Preferences" option. Click "Add a language" to add a new language and keyboard layout to your computer.

  6. Browse the list of languages :
    In the "Add Language" window you can see a list of available languages ​​and keyboard layouts. Scroll through the list and select your desired language and keyboard layout. Click "Next" to continue.

  7. Follow the instructions:
    After you select the language and keyboard layout you want, follow the onscreen instructions to add the new layout. This may include downloading and installing language packs and keyboard layouts.

  8. Delete the original format (optional) :
    If you want to delete the original keyboard layout after adding a new layout, you can go back to the "Language Preferences" and delete the original layout. Select the original format and click "Delete".

  9. Switch between keyboard layouts:
    To quickly switch between the installed keyboard layouts, you can use the key combination "Left Alt + Shift". Press the left Alt key and the Shift key simultaneously to switch between the different keyboard layouts you have installed.

By following these steps, you can easily change the keyboard layout on your Windows computer and seamlessly switch between different layouts based on your needs and preferences.

Change keyboard on Mac computer

An Apple computer has very different settings than a Windows computer. That is why changing your keyboard layout cannot be done in the same way! Below is an explanation of how to change your keyboard on a Mac computer:

  1. Click on the Apple menu :
    To get started, click on the Apple menu in the top left corner of the screen. This will open a dropdown menu with several options.

  2. Select "System Preferences" :
    In the Apple menu you will see the option "System Preferences". Click on it to open the "System Preferences" window. Here you can adjust the settings of your Mac.

  3. Go to the keyboard settings :
    In the "System Preferences" window you will see different icons for different settings. Find and click on the “Keyboard” icon. This will open the keyboard settings window.

  4. Navigate to the "Input Sources" tab :
    Within the "Keyboard" window you will see several tabs. Click on the "Input Sources" tab. Here you will find the keyboard layout settings.

  5. Add a new input source :
    Under the "Input Sources" tab, you will see a list of available input sources, such as languages ​​and keyboard layouts. Click the plus sign (+) at the bottom of the list to add a new input source.

  6. Select the desired language and keyboard layout :
    In the "Add Input Source" window, you can browse the list of languages ​​and formats. Find and select the language and keyboard layout you want. Click "Add" to add the format to your Mac.

  7. Change the order of the input sources (optional) :
    If you've added multiple keyboard layouts, you can change their order. This determines the order in which you can switch between the layouts. Drag the input sources up or down in the list to achieve the order you want.

  8. Switch between keyboard layouts :
    To switch between the installed keyboard layouts, you can use the input sources in the menu bar at the top of the screen. Click the keyboard icon and select the desired layout. A quick key combination to switch between the layouts is "Control + Spacebar".

Change keyboard layout on Linux computer

On a Linux computer, there are several methods to adjust the keyboard layout depending on the distribution and desktop environment used. I will discuss two common methods: via the graphical user interface and via the command line.

Method 1: Via the graphical user interface (GNOME desktop environment) :

  1. Click on the application menu :
    Click on the application menu at the top left corner of the screen and look for "Settings". Click "Settings" to open the system settings window.

  2. Go to "Keyboard ":
    In the system settings window, look for the “Keyboard” option and click on it. This will open the keyboard settings window.

  3. Select the format options :
    Within the "Keyboard" window you will see various tabs and settings. Navigate to the "Layouts" tab or a similar tab, where you can manage the keyboard layouts.

  4. Add a new format :
    Click the "Add" button or the plus sign (+) to add a new keyboard layout. You can select your preferred language and format from the available list of options. Click "Add" to apply the format.

  5. Delete or edit layouts (optional) :
    You can delete formats by making the selection and clicking the "Delete" button. To edit a layout, you can click the edit button next to the layout and make the changes you want.

  6. Switch between keyboard layouts :
    After you add the layouts, you can often find an option to switch between the keyboard layouts in the system settings. This option may be located on the "Keyboard Shortcuts" tab or a similar tab. Here you can set a keyboard shortcut to switch between the layouts, such as "Left Alt + Shift".

Method 2: Via the command line:

  1. Open a terminal window :
    Go to the applications and search for "Terminal" or "Command Line". Open the terminal window by clicking on it.

  2. Enter the correct command :
    Depending on the Linux distribution and the keyboard manager used, the exact command may vary. Here are some common examples:

    • For GNOME: Run the command gnome-control-center keyboard to open the keyboard settings window.

Frequently asked questions about computer keyboards

How do strange characters appear on my keyboard?

There are several reasons why strange characters may appear when you type on a keyboard. Here are some possible causes:

  1. Wrong keyboard layout: If the keyboard layout is not set correctly, it can lead to the appearance of strange characters. Check the keyboard layout settings on your computer and make sure it matches the physical keyboard you are using.

  2. Language settings: Sometimes changing the language settings on your computer can result in you entering characters that don't match the physical keys on your keyboard. Check the language settings and make sure they match the language you want to use.

  3. Dust or dirt under the keys: If dirt, dust, or other particles are stuck under the keys, it can cause incorrect registration of keystrokes. Clean the keyboard thoroughly by carefully removing the keys and cleaning them with compressed air or a soft cloth.

  4. Hardware issues: In some cases, hardware issues with the keyboard itself can cause strange characters to appear. This can happen, for example, if certain keys are defective or if there is a problem with the connection between the keyboard and the computer. In this case, try a different keyboard to see if the problem still persists.

  5. Driver issues: Outdated or damaged keyboard drivers can also lead to incorrect keystrokes and strange characters appearing. Make sure you have the latest drivers installed for your keyboard and consider updating the drivers if necessary.

If you're experiencing strange characters on your keyboard, it's helpful to check these possible causes and take the appropriate steps to resolve the problem.

How do you reset a keyboard?

Resetting a keyboard can differ per type of keyboard. Here are some general steps you can try to reset a keyboard easily:

Resetting your keyboard is normally very easy by pressing the CTRL and SHIFT keys at the same time. If your keyboard has not been reset after this, there are other ways to reset it:

  1. Wireless keyboard: If you have a wireless keyboard, try these steps:

    • Turn off the keyboard.
    • Remove the batteries.
    • Wait about 30 seconds.
    • Reinsert the batteries.
    • Turn the keyboard back on.

    This process can help resolve any connection or sync issues with the wireless keyboard.

  2. Wired keyboard: For wired keyboards, you can try disconnecting and reconnecting the keyboard. Follow these steps:

    • Disconnect the keyboard from the computer by unplugging the USB cable from the port.
    • Wait a few seconds.
    • Reconnect the keyboard by plugging the USB cable back into the port.

    This will renew the connection between the keyboard and the computer.

  3. Factory reset: Some high-end keyboards may have a specific reset procedure you can follow. Consult the keyboard manual or visit the manufacturer's website for specific instructions on how to perform a factory reset.

It is important to note that not all keyboards have a reset option and the available methods may vary depending on the make and model. Therefore, always consult the manufacturer's documentation for specific instructions regarding your keyboard model.

What different keyboard settings are there?

There are several keyboard settings you can adjust on your computer. Here are some common keyboard settings:

  1. Keyboard layout: This refers to the arrangement of the keys on your keyboard. Different countries and languages ​​have different keyboard layouts. Some well-known keyboard layouts are QWERTY (used in many English-speaking countries), AZERTY (used in French-speaking countries), and QWERTZ (used in many German-speaking countries).

  2. Language preference: This is the language set on your keyboard. It determines which characters and symbols appear when you type. Different languages ​​have different language preferences, which can affect the layout and appearance of the keyboard.

  3. Keyboard delay and repetition rate: These settings determine how quickly your keyboard responds to your keystrokes. The delay determines the time between pressing a key and registering it, while the repeat rate determines how quickly a key repeats when you hold it down.

  4. Function Keys: Some keyboards have additional function keys that perform specific tasks. These keys can be assigned to functions such as controlling the volume, opening specific programs, turning on keyboard lighting, and so on. These settings can often be adjusted or personalized.

  5. Keyboard lighting: If your keyboard has a lighting function, you can adjust the brightness, color and effects of the lighting. This can be useful to improve the visibility of the keys in a dark environment or to make visual adjustments to personal preference.

These settings may vary depending on the operating system (such as Windows, Mac, Linux) and the type of keyboard you are using. You can usually access these settings through your computer's system preferences or settings.

Looking for even more convenience?

Now that you know how to change your keyboard settings to suit your needs, your work will be much easier. To get through a work or school day with ease, it is important that you make it as user-friendly as possible. Sitting behind your laptop for a long time can also be bad for your back and neck if you do not do this in the right position.

Laptop stands are certainly the solution for this. This ensures that you work ergonomically and prevent serious neck and back problems. R2B offers a wide range of laptop stands that can help you work a lot more relaxed. View R2B's full range of laptop stands here!