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Re: Right Alt/Meta keys on Windows systems

From: Eli Zaretskii
Subject: Re: Right Alt/Meta keys on Windows systems
Date: Thu, 29 Dec 2005 22:34:51 +0200

> Date: Thu, 29 Dec 2005 01:08:12 -0500
> From: Paul Michael Reilly <address@hidden>
> CC: address@hidden, address@hidden
>  > Paul was talking about GNU/Linux systems, not about MS-Windows.
> I understood him to be saying that his Windoze issue also should
> apply to X-Windows.  His Windoze issue, as I interpret it, is about
> the use of the right Alt key to temporarily force the keyboard into a
> U.S. English locale so that a a key available in the U.S. English
> locale but overridden in the other locale can be made available.

My Windows box doesn't behave this way, as I already told here.

> And to make matters worse, I managed to scrounge around and dug up
> access to a Windows/2000 system and, lo and behold, both Alt keys
> operated as Meta modifier keys.  So my issue, so far, is a
> Windows/XP only issue.

My Windows box runs XP as well, so obviously not every XP system
exhibits your problem.  See below.

> 1) There are two camps who want a particular behavior from the right
>    Alt key on a Windows system.  I believe these behaviors are
>    mutually exclusive:
>    a) Right Alt key is a temporary locale modifier.
>    b) Right Alt key is a Meta modifier key.

Does your Windows XP machine support a) ?

> 2) Some who want the temporary locale modifier on the right Alt key
>    also believe that X-Windows systems should behave similarly.

I believe X Windows already does that, at least with some window

>  > > Knowing what locale settings Eli is using might help some.
>  > 
>  > Tell me what to look at on my machine and what to report, and I will
>  > tell you what I have here.  (I simply do not know what information
>  > defines the ``Windows locale''.)
> If you are running Windows/95/98/NT/2000

I run Windows XP.

> If you are running Windows/XP then you should go to the Control
> Panel and select "Regional and Language Options" and let us know
> where any pulldowns on any tabs show anything but "United States
> (English)".

It says "English (United States)", but under "Location" below it says
"Israel".  Which is what I want: I want an Israeli locale, but I want
English as the UI interface.

Aha, I think I know what is the source of your problem.  In the
"Regional and Language Options", press the "Languages" tab, then click
"Details".  In the dialog that pops up, click the "Key Settings"
button and look for an entry that uses the right Alt key.  If you can
get along without that function, disable it, which will change its key
to "None", and I think your right Alt key will behave as Meta.

> For example if you use a Hebrew input method that just
> happens to make the right Alt key work like a Meta modifier, that
> would be good to know.

No, my Key Settings dialog described above does not list any function
that is bound to the right Alt; the function "Switch to English-US"
has "None" listed as its key binding.

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