Disabling Shift+Ctrl

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated February 22, 2014)

1

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

Printing Hidden Text

One of the formatting attributes you can add to text is to make it "hidden," which means you can control whether it is ...

Discover More

Finding and Replacing Text Boxes

The Find and Replace capabilities of Word are very powerful, but they still come up a bit short when searching for some ...

Discover More

Setting Program Window Size in a Macro

The macro programming language used in Excel gives you a great many tools that allow you to modify the way that Excel appears ...

Discover More

Solve Real Business Problems Master business modeling and analysis techniques with Excel and transform data into bottom-line results. This hands-on, scenario-focused guide shows you how to use the latest Excel tools to integrate data from multiple tables. Check out Microsoft Excel 2013 Data Analysis and Business Modeling today!

More ExcelTips (ribbon)

Getting Rid of Numbered Columns

Excel normally refers to columns as A, B, C, etc. It also has a referencing format that allows columns to be referred to by ...

Discover More

Adding an Equal Sign Tool

In older versions of Excel (97 and 2000) the program had an equal sign tool that appeared right next to the Formula bar. If ...

Discover More

Problem with Missing Context Menu Option

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
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 two more than 4?

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.