Disabling Shift+Ctrl

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated January 10, 2019)

3

Eric prefers to use the keyboard for most of his work in Excel but has found that the keyboard language seems to randomly switch to French causing the wrong characters to appear. He traced the problem to unintentionally pressing Shift+Ctrl, which switches the language. With using the Ctrl key for macro shortcuts, the Shift+Ctrl language switch happens all the time. Eric wonders if there is a way to disable the Shift+Ctrl language switch.

The shortcut key that changes the keyboard language is controlled by Windows, not by Excel. That being said, it can be frustrating to have languages change as you are typing away, just because you inadvertently hit the shortcut key. Fortunately, there is a way to change it.

First, get out of Excel. (Like I said, this is a Windows issue, not an Excel issue.) If you are using a system with Windows 8, then follow these steps:

  1. Move the mouse pointer into the very bottom-left corner of your screen. You should see a small thumbnail appear showing you the Start screen (if you are looking at the desktop) or a different app (if you are looking at the Start screen already).
  2. Right-click on the thumbnail. Windows displays a Context menu.
  3. Choose Control Panel. Windows displays the traditional Control Panel window.
  4. Click the Change Input Method link. (This link is under the Clock, Language, and Region heading.)
  5. Click Advanced Settings at the left side of the window.
  6. Click Change Language Bar Hot Keys. (You may need to scroll down to see this option.) Windows displays the Text Services and Input Languages dialog box.
  7. Make sure the Advanced Key Settings tab is displayed. (See Figure 1.)
  8. Figure 1. The Advanced Key Settings tab of the Text Services and Input Languages dialog box.

  9. The Between Input Languages option should already be selected, so just click the Change Key Sequence button. Windows displays the Change Key Sequence dialog box. (See Figure 2.)
  10. Figure 2. The Change Key Sequence dialog box.

  11. Change both shortcut keys, as desired.
  12. Click OK or Save, as appropriate, to close all dialog boxes.

Note that there are actually two shortcut keys that you can change in the Change Key Sequence dialog box. While you can change just one, if you want, there really isn't much difference between Ctrl+Shift and Left Alt+Shift—they are both very easy to mistakenly press. Thus, it is a good idea to change them both if you are having problems with one of them. (Not Assigned is a good choice. It disables the keyboard shortcuts altogether.)

If you are using Windows 7 you can accomplish the same task in this manner:

  1. Press the Start menu button and choose Control Panel. Windows displays the traditional Control Panel window.
  2. Click the Change Keyboards or Other Input Methods link. (This link is under the Clock, Language, and Region heading.) Windows displays the Keyboards and Languages tab of the Region and Language dialog box.
  3. Click Change Keyboards. Windows displays the Text Services and Input Languages dialog box.
  4. Make sure the Advanced Key Settings tab is displayed.
  5. The Between Input Languages option should already be selected, so just click the Change Key Sequence button. Windows displays the Change Key Sequence dialog box.
  6. Change both shortcut keys, as desired.
  7. Click OK or Save, as appropriate, to close all dialog boxes.

If you are using a version of Windows other than 7 or 8, the steps to make the shortcut key change will obviously differ from those presented above. However, there should be enough clues in this tip to help you get to the right place on your system. (The key is to figure out how to get to that Change Key Sequence dialog box. How you get there is what differs from version to version.)

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (12977) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, and 2013.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Pasting Leading Zeroes

Paste information into a worksheet, and you may be surprised to see leading zeroes disappear before your eyes. Here's how ...

Discover More

Problems with Default Workbook and Worksheet Templates

You can create a default template for both your workbooks and worksheets. These should be placed in the xlstart folder, ...

Discover More

Drawing Simple Objects

Want to draw a few simple shapes or lines on your worksheet? It really is simple; here's how to do it.

Discover More

Excel Smarts for Beginners! Featuring the friendly and trusted For Dummies style, this popular guide shows beginners how to get up and running with Excel while also helping more experienced users get comfortable with the newest features. Check out Excel 2013 For Dummies today!

More ExcelTips (ribbon)

Enlarging the Formula Bar

The Formula bar is used to display the formula that appears in a cell. You may want to modify how the Formula bar is ...

Discover More

Tab Key Jumps a Screen at a Time

Have you ever pressed the Tab key, expecting to move to the next cell in your worksheet, only to have Excel completely ...

Discover More

Turning Off ScreenTips

ScreenTips are one of those artifacts of Microsoft trying to make Excel be overly helpful. If the ScreenTips bother you, ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 9 - 8?

2019-01-10 08:51:35

Margaret Molter

This tip is incredibly out of date. If not for the help of the comments out here, I would have given up entirely.


2019-01-10 04:28:37

Chris van Zyl

Windows 10: It took me a while to find the Advanced Key Settings window shown in Figure 1 above under the current (January 2010) version of Windows 10, so I thought I'd add the information to this hint. I found the window here:

Start > Settings > Type "Key" in the search box and choose "Typing settings" > Scroll down to the bottom and choose "Advanced keyboard settings" > choose "Language bar options" > carry on at step 7. above.

Windows 10 allows you to cycle through the language and keyboard options with the (Windows key) & (Space bar) combination, so I see no reason not to choose "Not assigned" in both cases (Figure 2 above).


2015-07-04 04:20:53

Brenda

And what should the setting be if you want to prevent the Shift + Ctrl keyboard change?


This Site

Got a version of Excel that uses the ribbon interface (Excel 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the menu interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.