FAQs: Using Multiple Languages with Userful Desktop

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(Updated 2015.09.25)

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Language Display/Input

Q: How can I work in other languages and/or with other keyboard layouts?

Userful Desktop supports a variety of keyboard layouts and fonts for foreign languages, as well as supporting translation of most text strings.

There are three different aspects of working in multiple languages:

  1. available languages,
  2. keyboard layouts, and
  3. input methods.

Available languages

  • tells the computer which fonts and user interface text to support for display. This does not change the mapping of keys on the keyboard.
Userful Desktop supports most common languages, and the available languages can be set through Userful Manager (find these settings at Solutions Expert > Welcome Screens > Edit Welcome Screen > Languages).
There are different ways a user can take advantage of this feature. First, when the user starts a session, they have a list box that appears to the right of the Acceptable Use Policy text. This list box allows them to switch the entire user interface into another language (assuming the text for that language is available for all the different programs, dialog boxes, and menus). The list looks something like this:

. . . . . . . . . .
List of available languages

Second, the user can take advantage of the available fonts when browsing multilingual Web pages, editing documents, etc.

Keyboard layouts

  • provide support for different kinds of keyboards such as QWERTY, DVORAK, French, Romanian, etc. These layouts, or mappings, map different letters or characters to different keys on the keyboard.
By using this feature of Userful Manager, we can tell the computer to interpret the keyboard using a different layout than is on the keyboard itself. So, in Quebec (for example) the keyboard can be set to a French Canadian layout to allow patrons to easily use accented French characters.
Please refer to the Administrator Guide for information and instructions about changing keyboard layout.

Input methods

  • tell the computer how to translate keyboard input into more complex language scripts (such as Chinese, Japanese, and Korean). This does not necessarily change the mapping of keys on the keyboard. For example:
Chinese input is usually done through pinyin, which involves
  1. Using a standard, North American English keyboard.
  2. Typing in groups of letters to make a phoneme.
  3. And then choosing from a list of Chinese characters that have that sound.
So, in this example, the computer must support Chinese as an "available language", but the keyboard layout does not need to be changed. (Things can get rather confusing, because certain input methods, such as Traditional Chinese, do require a different keyboard layout. But this still falls in the category of input methods.)
If the user wishes to switch the input method from the default to some other method, they can do that by clicking on the input method applet on the Panel/Taskbar (the default is usually "En" or "English/Latin Characters" input method). This pops up a menu of all the available input methods. You will notice that the list does not include many common languages but, rather, those which use non-alphabetical scripts, etc.
To learn how to set up Userful Desktop's multi-lingual input features, please contact Customer Support or your Userful Sales Representative.