Before you start
Objectives: find out where can you configure regional and language options in XP.
Prerequisites: no prerequisites.
Key terms: language, regional, keyboard, format, display
In previous versions of Windows, in order to move between various languages, we had to install separate packages. Windows XP now allows us to navigate quickly and easily and select which language options we would like to use. As we go in to the Regional and Language options in Control Panel, we will notice that we have three tabs of information. First, we have Regional options, then Language options, and then Advanced options.
Image 190.1 – Regional Options
In Regional Options we can define how we want to represent our numbers, currency, time and date. For example, in United States a common format for representing the date is: mm/dd/yyyy. In Europe a common format for dates is: dd/mm/yyyy. The same thing is for our currencies. In United States we use commas (1,000 = one thousand), and in Europe we use decimals to separate thousands (1.000 = one thousand). In addition to having the number settings, we also have the ability of setting up our location. Our location is used by programs such as Internet Explorer. This is handy for getting news, weather, etc.
In Language settings we have the ability of selecting a bunch of different languages, as well as Keyboard layouts. This becomes very handy when we are using our Word processing applications. For example, if we need to create a document in different languages, we can hot-key between various language inputs. This means that by using our keyboard, we can quickly switch between letters that we will be typing in and in which format.
Image 190.2 – Language Options
We can also choose to have different keyboard layout. We can have the standard QWERTY keyboard or we can use, for instance, Dvorak keyboard. Dvorak keyboard has different key layout and it is optimized for efficiency. We have also additional language support for countries that use right-to-left writing, and we can also add support for east Asiatic languages. Advanced language options are intended for non-Unicode programs.
Windows can ship in Localized version or in Multi-language version. In both versions we can change date, time, measurement display, create, view, and edit documents in multiple languages (including East Asian and right-to-left languages), but we can’t display Windows menus and dialogs in multiple languages in Localized versions of Windows.
In Regional Options we can define how we want to represent our numbers, currency, time and date. In Language settings we have the ability of selecting different languages, as well as Keyboard layouts, which comes very handy when we are using our Word processing applications.