Custom Yiddish Keyboards for Windows
Keyboard Layout Manager (KLM)

Back to Summary of Customing Yiddish Keyboards

Here are steps to creating a customized keyboard on your Windows computer using a commercial program called Keyboard Layout Manager (KLM), which will add a Yiddish keyboard to your entire operating system, for use by any programs that can use Unicode UTF-8 (presumably all Office 2000 programs and others). It will not change your English keyboard, and you'll be able to toggle back and forth between languages at any time.

Regardless of which keyboard editor you choose, keep in mind the following:

  1. Uniform usage of codes within the Unicode array of choices is important to ensure that Yiddish documents can be shared between users and that they will be read consistently by all programs. You may wish to refer to the attached chart for reference.

  2. Win 2000 Note: There appears to be an anomoly with Microsoft in that some Unicode subset 5 characters (i.e., virtually all of the characters that you'll want on your Yiddish keyboard) do not work well in the Shift position, causing uneven spacing and other problems. (This problem seems to be limited to Word, and does not appear in OE, etc. Therefore, it probably does not apply to Win95/98/ME keyboard layouts, since Word 97 does not support Right-to-Left and therefore Word cannot be used for word processing in Win 95/98/ME anyway.) Also, you can't use the Alt position because it conflicts with many Microsoft keyboard "shortcut" commands. Therefore, we are limited to using the Normal position and AltGr (right Alt key) unless you have a way, e.g., via macros or something, to make your system read shifted keys as something else.  In KLM, you can solve this problem by mapping both Shift keys (e.g, for your Yiddish keyboard only) to act as AltGr, enabling the user to use the Shift keys for Yiddish. Details are below, in the linked notes about designing a keyboard layout with KLM.

Now, to use KLM:

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