Help, my keys are wrong!

I have a new computer that works fine, except for a small problem: some of the keys on the keyboard display the wrong thing on the screen. For instance, when I type a double-quote (SHIFT-2) I get an @ sign instead. And when I want an @ sign, I get quotes instead. I can’t seem to get a £ sign either, I keep getting # instead. How can I fix this?


I got this question for a friend of mine who was typing his CV to send to apply for some sales manager jobs. He’s still looking, but here is some information about the problem and how to solve it.

This is a common problem with Windows when it hasn’t been set up properly. It’s not a physical problem with the keyboard, so it’s easy to fix. Windows thinks you’re using an American keyboard which uses Shift-2 for @ and so on. When Windows is installed it assumes that an American keyboard is in use, and unless this option is changed you get the symptoms you have described.

Here’s how you can fix this:

  • In Windows XP: Click Start, Settings and open your Control Panel. Find and double-click the Regional and Language Options icon. In the first tab, select English (United Kingdom) from the drop-down menu if it’s not already selected. Click the Advanced tab and do the same. Then click the Languages tab and click the Details button. Click Add and choose English (United Kingdom) from the “Input Language” list. Now, from the “Default input language” dropdown list at the top, select eh UK option, and click OK. Follow any prompts that appear. Click OK to close the dialogue box.
  • In Vista: Click Start then Control Panel, and select the Regional and Langauge Options icon by double-clicking on it. Click on the Keyboards and Languages tab in the box that appears, then click the button marked “Change Keyboards”. Now you can follow the instructions for Windows XP by clicking the Add button and adding English (United Kingdom) from the list.

It’s easy to do once you know how.

One thought on “Help, my keys are wrong!

  1. My keyboard always end up in this US format, it’s such a pain, you get used to the wrong keys and when you actually get round to fixing it you need to re-learn the keys :@

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