Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Another Vista peeve

I'm noticing yet another interface irritation with Windows Vista: you can't globally change your keyboard language. I'm using Dvorak for all my typing (and can't touch-type on a qwerty keyboard anymore), and my laptop only has Dvorak installed. We've got both layouts installed on Laura's laptop, and a keyboard shortcut to switch between layouts. But when you switch apps, or even locations within an app, the keyboard settings can change. I'll open Notepad, switch to Dvorak, and type a bit. Then I'll open a web browser, switch layouts to Dvorak and type a web address. Then when I enter my user name, I'll have to switch layouts again to turn the data field to Dvorak. When I type text in Gmail, I need to switch to Dvorak again. And when I open a Google window, I need to change layouts again to enter text in the search box. Short of temporarily deleting the standard layout, there's no way to switch the keyboard layout to Dvorak across the entire OS; it's one app at a time, and even one field at a time. This is irritating. More so, because I can't change everything back easily when I'm done. Laura has Dvorak sneak up on her occasionally after I've been using her computer. It's surreal when you start typing and the words appearing on screen don't match what you think you typed. While I'm not opposed to adding a little of the surreal to Laura's day, I suspect it gets irritating pretty quickly. And it's never wise to needlessly irritate one's spouse....

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