Multilingual keyboards and Microsoft Word

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2006/03/15 12:49 -05:00, original URI:

I was talking with someone the other day who is working on/with the new Finnish keyboard standard.

He was testing out an implementation of the standard and happened to notice that it was working well in Notepad and some other applications, but not working very well in Word.

Longtime readers might recall the first time I talked about the problem here, in the post "To start press the ALTGR key." Hmm... where's the ALTGR key?. In the footnote I put in there:

Every few months I start looking at the Word object model and its KeyBindings collection and related trivia to create a Word Add-in that will listen for keyboard changes and any time a WM_INPUTLANGCHANGE notification is received it would remove the Word shortcuts that conflicted with actual keyboard assignments. I find the undone project I was working on, get into it for a few hours, and then realize that this is something that the Word team or the Offce team ought to put together and build into the product. So I send off some mails and they agree with me and then it seems to go nowhere. A few months later it starts over again. Maybe one day one of us will have a finished solution for this problem. :-) 

Well, I have started and stopped this project a few more times since then and have gotten people in Word/Office to agree that it would be a good idea to do something here, but neither I nor them have produced anything just yet (I will admit that I have not installed recent Office 12 builds to see if the problem is fixed there).

I should probably just finish up the add-in some day.

In the meantime, this can be considered yet another downside to multilingual keyboards beyond what I have mentioned before -- Word compatibility....


This post brought to you by "ǥ" (U+01e5, a.k.a. LATIN SMALL LETTER G WITH STROKE)

# Martin-Éric on 18 Mar 2006 7:10 AM:

Pretty interesting to hear about that commitee's results. Sad to see that the new standard completely disregards established practices on operating systems that already tackled these issues. Part of the problem is this obstination in maintaining compatibility with other Scandinavian layouts ... for a language that is clearly not Scandinavian. Granted, there is a Swedish speaking minority in Finland and long history of trade relationships with Sweden but, nowadays, Estonia is a much more important political, military and trading partner whose language is nearly the same as Finnish, so reaching compatibility between the Estonian and Finnish keyboard layouts would have been much more relevant.

Please consider a donation to keep this archive running, maintained and free of advertising.
Donate €20 or more to receive an offline copy of the whole archive including all images.

referenced by

2012/04/26 Michael's Keyboard Laws for Developers, Part 5

2008/01/17 Virtual PC + Word 2007 ≠ AltGr support?

2007/11/16 Detecting ALTGR fails when ALTGR isn't there (Just Czech-ed out in Word 2007)

2007/09/08 Detecting ALTGR can only hope to work when AlTGR is in fact there....

2007/07/18 Sometimes they are not as helpful shortcuts

2007/03/05 You're not the one out of sequence, and that's the Word

2007/02/02 No CONTROL over the SPACE being filled with CTRL+SPACE

2006/11/25 Even if they aren't talking international, at least they aren't stomping international!

2006/04/17 Get off my freaking key!

go to newer or older post, or back to index or month or day