Go to the Russian language version of this page

How to use Keyboard Layout section of Control Panel to activate Russian keyboard
for Windows 7,8,10/Vista and XP/2003

This page is a part of my site's Chapter "Russian keyboard: standard and phonetic"



Keyboard layout specifies how letters and symbols are located on the keyboard buttons for a given Input Language.
For example, when Input Language is English (shows as "EN" in the taskbar), Windows offers a set of layouts to choose from:

That is, for a given Input Language, system could offer several different layouts (different location of letters and symbols).
Here is Microsoft page that shows the layouts for each and every Input Language in the OOB system: http://www.microsoft.com/globaldev/reference/keyboards.mspx

A user opens Keyboard Layouts section of Control Panel if there is a need to add a layout or to check that desired layout is selected as active for an Input Language
(for example, check if it's "US English" and not "British English" for "EN" if errouneously Shift-2 gives a quote instead of '@')

Also, if user finds that say something is wrong/strange in the typing, s/he may want to visit that section to make sure that only one layout is selected for the Input Language.
The system must be presented with only one active layout per language otherwise how Windows would know what symbol to show when a button is pressed (quote or '@' as in example below)?.

The steps needed to access Keyboard Layout section of Control Panel do vary from one Windows version to another and all variants are listed below. The steps use standard Russian Keyboard layout as an example ("RU" becomes available in the taskbar via Alt+Shift switch from "EN"), but they are the same for any other European language.

Note. Windows offers two Russian keyboard layouts in OOB system (as you can see on Microsoft page mentioned above):

Here is how standard, regular Russian keyboard layout looks like (location of letters and symbols - in red):

Standard Russian keyboard layout


How to activate standard Russian Keyboard layout





 

Russian layout for Windows XP/2003

  1. Start / Control Panel
    (or if it's Classic View - Start / Settings / Control Panel)
  2. click Regional and Language Options
  3. open Languages section
  4. click Details in the "Text Services and Input Languages" frame
  5. click Add in the "Installed Services" frame
  6. find "Russian" in the list of Input Languages and click OK

    Important! This is all you need to do to be able to type in Russian. You should not use "make Default" option on that screen, that is, do not choose Russian layout as your default.

    As it was noted above, if you see not one but several layouts in the list of active layouts for Russian, then you must remove unneeded ones and leave only one layout active for Russian language.

  7. click Apply down below at the right and Windows finds a layout file of standard Russian layout - kbdru.dll.

    The default method to switch keyboard from English typing ("EN") to Russian typing ("RU") is via Alt+Shift (this key combination is listed on the same Layouts screen, just click on "Key Settings" to see all available combinations.

  8. Click OK

Now you can switch your keybord to "RU" and start typing Russian Cyrillic!



Note. The steps above are for your own computer where you can perform such tune-up.
But you can type Russian even if you are in the businees center of a hotel and computer there does not allow any tune-up:
there are Web pages with so called "Virtual Russian Keyboard" that emulates your "home" input to let you type as you got used to.

See the information at the #v1 of this page.

To the top of the page



 

Russiant keyboard layout for Windows 7 or Vista

  1. Start / Control Panel / Clock, Language, Region
    (or if it's Classic View - Start / Settings / Control Panel)
  2. double-click on Regional and Language Options
  3. find "Keyboard and Languages" tab there
  4. click "Change Keyboard"
  5. click Add (
  6. find "Russian" in the list of languages and click '+' to see the list of the layouts to choose from for "RU"
  7. click on "Russian" in that list of layouts (it's standard, regular Russian layout) to add this layout as active for "RU"

    Important! This is all you need to do to be able to type in Russian. You should not use "make Default" option on that screen, that is, do not choose Russian layout as your default.

    As it was noted above, if you see not one but several layouts in the list of active layouts for Russian, then you must remove unneeded ones and leave only one layout active for Russian language.

  8. click Apply down below at the right and Windows finds a layout file of standard Russian layout - kbdru.dll.

    The default method to switch keyboard from English typing ("EN") to Russian typing ("RU") is via Alt+Shift (this key combination is listed on the same Layouts screen, just click on "Advanced Key Settings" to see all available combinations.

  9. Click OK as many times as needed to leave Control Panel

Now you can switch your keybord to "RU" and start typing Russian Cyrillic!



Note. The steps above are for your own computer where you can perform such tune-up.
But you can type Russian even if you are in the businees center of a hotel and computer there does not allow any tune-up:
there are Web pages with so called "Virtual Russian Keyboard" that emulates your "home" input to let you type as you got used to.

See the information at the #v2 of this page.

To the top of the page



 

Russiant keyboard layout for Windows 8

  1. Control Panel - Language
  2. click "Add language"
  3. find Russian ("") in the list of languages anden click on that 'square' to select. Then click "Add" down below that screen.
  4. now you are back to the screen with the list of active Input Languages and Russian ("") is now also in that list (where "English" is at the top of the list).

    When you add Russian Input Language, the system automatically, by default, selected standard, regular Russian keyboard layout to be used for "RU".
    To see other available Russian keyboard layouts, click "Options" at the right

Important! This is all you need to do to be able to type in Russian. You should not use "make Default" option on that screen, that is, do not choose Russian layout as your default.

As it was noted above, if you see not one but several layouts in the list of active layouts for Russian, then you must remove unneeded ones and leave only one layout active for Russian language.

The way to switch keyboard from English typing ("EN") to Russian typing ("RU") is to press Alt+Shift or to press pressing Windows logo button + space bar.

Now you can switch your keybord to "RU" and start typing Russian Cyrillic!

Note. The steps above are for your own computer where you can perform such tune-up.
But you can type Russian even if you are in the businees center of a hotel and computer there does not allow any tune-up:
there are Web pages with so called "Virtual Russian Keyboard" that emulates your "home" input to let you type as you got used to.

See the information at the #v4 of this page.

To the top of the page



 

Russiant keyboard layout for Windows 10

  1. Open the Start Menu and click on "Settings." Within "Settings," click on "Time & language."
  2. Within "Time & language," click on "Region & language" in the left sidebar. In the main part of the screen, click "Add a language."
  3. This will bring up a list of all the languages you can install on your system. Scroll to the right until you find "Russian." Once you click on it, youre done with the installation

Important! This is all you need to do to be able to type in Russian. You should not use "make Default" option on that screen, that is, do not choose Russian layout as your default.

As it was noted above, if you see not one but several layouts in the list of active layouts for Russian, then you must remove unneeded ones and leave only one layout active for Russian language.

The way to switch keyboard from English typing ("EN") to Russian typing ("RU") is to press Alt+Shift or to press pressing Windows logo button + space bar.

Now you can switch your keybord to "RU" and start typing Russian Cyrillic!

Note. The steps above are for your own computer where you can perform such tune-up.
But you can type Russian even if you are in the businees center of a hotel and computer there does not allow any tune-up:
there are Web pages with so called "Virtual Russian Keyboard" that emulates your "home" input to let you type as you got used to.

See the information at the #v5 of this page.

To the top of the page




     

Typing Russian when system tune-up cannot be done:
at work or in a hotel's business center Windows or Mac computer



If you need to write in Russian, but you are not using your own PC, say you are in an Internet-cafe or in the library, where you can read Russian but can not write - can not use Windows Control Panel to enable regular keyboard tools for Russian, then it's still Ok, there is an easy work-around:

you can use special Web page with a Virtual Keyboard where you can input Cyrillic text (using mouse or physical keyboard) and then copy it to the place where you need it.

That is, even in that case you should not send a transliteration, latin text such as "privet" or "schast'ye" that will bother the readers of that message - no, you can send normal Cyrillic text.

Virtual Keyboard allows you to input via regular keyboard (though mouse can be used, too) and - important! - you can type "as at home", choosing, in the menu below the image, same layout that you use at home (Standard or Phonetic explained in a parent page of this one)

Please see for yourself:   "On-screen, virtual Russian keyboard"

While in Internet-cafe, you can use a short address of that Virtual Keyboard:

Obviously, it's not as handy as typing with regular Windows or Mac keyboard tools, so you should use such special Web page only in such 'corner case' as Internet-cafe or library (or if you need to type Russian not too often).

That is, if it's your own computer at home then you should spend 20 minutes - one time! - to read the instruction on this page, below - for regular Windows keyboard tools activation via Control Panel.






 

Paul Gorodyansky. 'Cyrillic (Russian): instructions for Windows and Internet'