by Allen Wyatt
(last updated May 30, 2020)
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 Windows 10, follow these steps:
Figure 1. The Advanced Key Settings tab of the Text Services and Input Languages dialog box.
Figure 2. The Change Key Sequence dialog box.
If you are using a system with Windows 8, then follow these steps:
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:
ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (12977) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Office 365.
Professional Development Guidance! Four world-class developers offer start-to-finish guidance for building powerful, robust, and secure applications with Excel. The authors show how to consistently make the right design decisions and make the most of Excel's powerful features. Check out Professional Excel Development today!
Tired of the same old boring Excel look? You can add some life to your worksheets by introducing some animation. Here's ...Discover More
When you right-click a cell, does it seem that the Context menu is missing an item or two? Here's how to get those items ...Discover More
When you insert rows, columns, or cells in a worksheet, does the resulting Insert Options icon bother you? Here's how to ...Discover More
FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."
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.