How do I change the On-Screen Keyboard from English to another language?

The Windows 7 On-Screen Keyboard is very versatile and loaded with features. To change language support just press Left-Alt+Shiftif the keyboard is configured.

Before we start on that, you may wish to install language support to bring in other features. For that see How do I install a display language?

Setting up keyboard language support

Click the START orb and type “language”. The Start menu will include Region and Language. Click it. (Of course you can get there from the Control Panel.) imageIn the next dialog click the Keyboards and Languages tab. The next window will look similar to this:








Click Add…

A long list of languages will be shown. Find the language you wish to install. Click on the + in front of the entry to expand the list. Similarly expand Keyboard. Select the keyboard language from the last options, make sure the box is checked. Then click OK. You can now see the installed languages in the Text Services and Input Languages window. You are all set.

Using language keyboards optionsTbar-RU

The keyboard language in use can be seen at the right end of the Taskbar. In the illustration here the current language is RU – Russian. To switch to another language press Left-Alt+Shift. On successive presses this will cycle through the available languages (that are set up as described above).

NOTE: Make the keyboard selection when an application using keyboard input is open. You can make a different selection in another application. The keyboard selection is “sticky” – switching to the other application will also switch the keyboard selected in that application. This makes working in different languages really easy.

When the Language Pack is installed for a supported language, the On-Screen Keyboard offers a very nice feature: auto-complete options. Not all languages are supported in this way. English is, so is German. Auto-complete is not supported for Russian.


In this illustration two instances of WordPad are running (hold down the Shift key when selecting a program to open another instance). The keyboard was set for Russian in one and German in the other. Note the auto-complete option offered above the normal keys. The selection is refined as additional letters are selected. Auto-complete is not active when using the hardware keyboard, it only works with the On-Screen Keyboard.




How do I install a display language?

Windows 7 can display characters and other features of a wide range of languages. Support for several languages may be installed on your computer. To add another language, proceed as follows:image

Click START > Control Panel >
Clock, Language, and Region

imageOn Region and Language click Install or uninstall display languages

In the next dialog click Install display languages.

The next window asks you to chose the method of installation. image

Click Launch Windows Update. Note the line about optional updates. In the illustration here it says “35 optional updates are available”. It may be different on your computer. Click that phrase. You will be offered a choice of Language Packs.


You can chose more than one Language Pack. Click to select. The click OK.image

The next choice is to install:

Click Install updates.

The download and installation process may take a long time.

When the process finishes your Language Pack or Packs are installed.

You may wish to configure your keyboard or the On-Screen Keyboard. For instruction on that, see: How do I change the On-Screen Keyboard from one language to another?



What does this Windows Live Writer error message mean: “"The blog theme couldn’t be downloaded"?

If Windows Live Writer gave this message when trying to update the theme from your WordPress blog, and if you are using a static page, then maybe I can help.


When you click Update theme on the Blog Account tab in imageWriter, it downloads a number of support files from WordPress. It may write a temporary post to your blog in this process (it will ask for permission). When the blog uses a static landing page it may have trouble doing all this and can’t complete the setup.

Here is the work-around procedure

Click Dashboard in the Blog Account tab to open your WordPress blog dashboard.image This launches your browser and logs in to your WordPress dashboard (you may have to log in).

Expand the Settings tab in the pane at the left and click Reading.image






Carefully note (and jot down) the selections for your Front page and Post page settings.

Next click Your latest posts for the setting of what the Front page displays to (temporarily) disable the static page mode. The static page settings should now be grayed out.

Click Save changes – you may have to scroll down.

Back in Writer click Update theme in the Blog Account tab. The update process should now run.

If it asks for permission to do a temporary post click on Yes otherwise it will not install your theme for display in Writer.

The process should finish in a minute or two. The color, background, and fonts of your new theme will show up in the Writer main window.

Back in the browser in your WordPress dashboard in the Reading Settings page, click on A static page to re-enable your static page.

If the settings have reverted to the defaults (in case you closed and reopened your browser) reset the selections for front page and post page (that is why I asked you to jot down the settings).

Click Save changes.

You should now be back in business, your blog will again present your static page as the landing for visitors and you will have full wysiwyg (what you see is what you get) editing capability in Windows Live Writer.

Please leave me a note if you tried this and tell me of any difficulties.


How do I install a custom menu on my WordPress blog?

WordPress blog themes offer many variations in appearance and features. Many themes allow you to install a custom menu in place of the default menu.

To check if your theme supports custom menus, expand the Appearance tab in the navigation pane on the left of your Dashboard. Click Themes. Your current theme will be shown on the top of the page. The illustration below shows the default theme, “Twenty Ten”.


Below the theme description is a line of links titles “OPTIONS:”. If your theme supports custom menus there will be a link there.

Click the Menus link (there is also a link to Menus in the Appearance group).

If you do not yet have a custom menu, there is just one thing to do on the Menus page, that is to create a menu. Enter a name for the menu in the box (“mymenu” will do) and click Create Menu. image

Now other options on this page are available. For this task, these are Theme Locations, Custom Links and Pages, see the illustration here.

Start in the Pages group. Click each page you want shown on the menu so the checkmark shows, then click Add to Menu.

In the Custom Links area you can enter the address of a page or website – just about anything you want to show on the menu. There is a text box for the text that should appear on the menu for this.

The items you have added to the menu will show up on the right side.


Here you can rearrange the order of the menu items by just dragging an item from one place to another. The illustration above shows such a maneuver. 

Caution: If you move the menu item a bit to the right it may locate “indented”, like this:


With the result that the menu item becomes a submenu under the item above it. Of course, this may be just the result you want. Submenu items appear when the pointer is moved over the menu item. See the illustration.

To remove or modify a menu item, click the down-arrow on the right of the item for options.

Click Save Menu to save the menu. This does not install it, there is one more step.

The last step to install the custom menu is under Theme Locations. The selector under Primary Navigation shows the default, blank area and the menu you created.


Click in the space or on the down-arrow, then click on your menu. Finally click Save. Now your custom menu is installed.

You can modify the menu on this page. You can also revert to the default menu by selecting the blank listing under Primary Navigation (and saving, of course). This will still keep you custom menu so you can go back to it.