GWKB2042 : Unassigning Hot Keys for Input Languages in Windows 7

Product: Window-Eyes
Author: Rod Hutton
Date Added: 11/13/2013
Last Modified: 11/13/2013

When Windows 7 is installed, it often assigns a hot key which might conflict with Window-Eyes in some situations. Windows 7 commonly assigns the keystroke "Control-Shift" to change the keyboard layout or the ­system language.

Window-Eyes uses this key combination as a modifier along with other keys, such as Control-Shift-W to read the active window. Therefore, in some hardware and software scenarios, it is possible that the "Control-Shift" keystroke might be intercepted by Windows, rather than being passed on to Window-Eyes; moreover, the user might experience unpredictable keyboard performance as they use Control-Shift while engaged in their normal computing tasks.

Clearly, the only solution is to disable the "Control-Shift" key assignment in the appropriate Windows 7 Control Panel dialog.

Here are the steps necessary to do this:

  1. Press the Start button, and, in the search field edit box, type: "region", and wait a minute or so for the results to populate the list.
  2. Arrow down to the item named "Region and Language," and press Enter.
  3. ­
  4. The "Region and Language" dialog will open, which has four page tabs, and you will be on the "Format" page.
  5. Press Control-tab twice in order to activate the "Keyboards and Languages" page tab, and you will be placed on the "Change Keyboards" button. Press Enter to activate this button.
  6. This will open the "Text Services and Input Languages" dialog, which has three page tabs, and you will be placed in the "General" tab.
  7. Press Control-Tab twice to activate the "Advanced Key Settings" page tab.This will place you on a radio button used to configure the Caps Lock function on your system.There is no need to change this setting.
  8. Press tab once in order to move to a list box where you can configure the hot keys assigned to actions related to switching between installed languages on your system.This list box works in conjunction with the button which follows the list box, named "Change Key Sequence."Note that each system may have different entries in the list box; however, the important point is that you are looking for a language action whose hot key has been set to "Control-Shift."
  9. Therefore, one at a time, select an item in the list box, tab to the "Change Key Sequence" button, and press Enter.In the "Change Key Sequence" dialog, you will find two radio buttons, one named "Switch Input Language," the other named "Switch Keyboard Layout," as well as the OK and Cancel buttons.For each of these radio buttons, ensure that the radio button has focus, and press up arrow until the radio button reads "Not assigned."Then, tab to the OK button and press Enter.
  10. Repeat the above step as many times as necessary to ensure that none of the language actions are assigned to the hot key "Control-Shift."
  11. When all of the language actions have been configured as described above, tab to the OK button, and press Enter to close the "Text Services and Input Languages" dialog.
  12. Finally, once the above dialog closes, you will be returned to the "Region and Language" dialog, where, once again, you can tab to the OK button, and press Enter.From this point on, you should have no further hot key conflicts between the Windows 7 operating system and Window-Eyes.

Author: Rod Hutton (November 12, 2013)