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Polish keyboard incompatibility issues

filmstudent 4 | 5
18 Aug 2014 #1
I'm wondering if there's a solution or a workaround for this. I'm an American studying in Poland, using a Windows 7 laptop bought in the US with the Polish Programmers keyboard layout installed. I use te Alt + key combinations for Polish characters, and it works fine most of the time, but every now and then I come across a situation where an application or website won't accept Polish characters this way (but supports them otherwise)

As an example--when I create flash cards on, ą ę ó ń ć ź and ż all work just fine using the appropriate Alt + keys. But when I try to type an ś with Alt +S, nothing happens. When I try to type a ł, a dot is displayed. So I have to have notepad open in the background, and copy/paste ś and ł as I need them. Both ś and ł are displayed correctly when they're pasted. Drives me crazy, and I've basically given up using StudyBlue because of it. Which is a shame, because I really like it otherwise.

Both Rosetta Stone's desktop software and the web-based equivelant don't support the Polish Programmers keyboard, forcing you to use their method with the ~ key. And a text-only distraction-free text editor I love using at has keyboard commands that use the alt key. It does accept Polish characters when that feature is disabled, but a distracting "Keyboard shortcuts are disabled in settings" is displayed in the corner every time an alt key combination is used.

What bothers me is that in each of these three instances, the website and/or software support the characters themselves and will display them correctly--but they don't recognize them as being pressed, due to either ignoring any Alt key combinations altogether, interpreting alt combinations inconsistantly, or ignoring alt combinations altogether.

So I'm curious, what keyboard layout do Windows PCs use in Poland, and how are the Polish keys accessed? If it's with Alt + combinations, is there any way to circumvent faulty software/websites, so the text is fed in directly, without the software ever seeing that the Alt key was pressed? Or any ideas for a workaround?
Marysienka 1 | 195
18 Aug 2014 #2
Ussually people use alt+letter for polish letters. but there is another " typewriter" setting. (I think it's called Polski 214- that's what it says on my settings, when I accidently change to it)

It has z and y switched, polish letters in the place of [];' and all the punctuaction marks in different places.
BohdanBazooka - | 24
26 Aug 2014 #3
Maybe there are some applications on your laptop that use combinations of Alt+key as their local shortcuts.

I remember some Polish users of ATI Catalyst having problems with "Ć" because of this.
Try to look for said programs and check their settings.
OP filmstudent 4 | 5
2 Nov 2015 #4
Merged: Typing em dash and low quotation marks?

I use the Polish programmers keyboard layout in Windows 7 which allows me to type most Polish characters just fine (ą, ę, ć, ł, etc) and I use Vistalizator to switch between U.S. and Polish language packs, which allows Windows to display system messages with Polish characters and for me to view/edit text documents containing Polish characters.

However, as far as I've been able to tell, neither allows me to directly type an em dash ( - ) or a double low-9 quotation mark ( " ) (as used in writing Polish dialogue). I can insert them manually using the Windows alt codes, though not every program supports this, and it also slows me down while I'm working. Some programs allow me to set up an autocorrect feature to fix this, but some don't--InDesign, for instance, doesn't allow special characters in autocorrect entries. My friends here in Poland are telling me they use the autocorrect feature in MS Word to circumvent this problem--so apparently even in Poland you can't type these characters directly from the keyboard? That seems odd to me, so I thought I'd ask here for ideas, maybe someone else here has ran into this before? Maybe there's a key combination I'm missing?

The best workaround I've found is a third party program called AutoHotKey... but still, this strikes me as something that would be built in to the keyboard layout or the Windows language pack--surely all of Poland isn't relying on autocorrect for this?

I found a solution, finally! For anyone else with this problem, the "Mocny Aksent" keyboard layout allows typing Polish letters with the right Alt key, as well as - and ". You just have to switch the keyboard layout from the taskbar every time you want to use it. It can be downloaded here,20,gratisy.htm
Polonius3 1,000 | 12,446
2 Nov 2015 #5
"Mocny Aksent"

How does Mocny Akcent differ from Programmer's*? You still have to double type to get the accented letters and that is a hassle.
OP filmstudent 4 | 5
2 Nov 2015 #6
Mocny Akcent work the same way as programmers, in that you type the special characters by holding down right alt key--ie, for "ą" you type alt + a. For "-" you type alt + =, and for """ you type alt + ;

It just takes some getting used to... there's aother Polish keyboard layout I remember finding that did't require the alt key for accented characters, but I found that I was using more time learning the new layout than I was saving by not using the alt key. Once you grow accustomed to it the alt key becomes second nature.
Polonius3 1,000 | 12,446
2 Nov 2015 #7
Once you grow accustomed to

Once you get accustoemd to anything it becomes second nature. But since I have extensively used both layouts (Programmers and Typist's 214) often during the same day, after a few mintues you get the hang of it. But all in all 214 is better, more efficient and certainly more versatile. Not only are all the Polish accented letters right on the keyboard but also found there are such symbols as ç, é, ä, ö, ü, ë, â, ê, û, î, à, đ, š, ž, è, ř, á, ý, ß, §, and others, all of which are absent from the "cowboy" (programmer's) keyboard.
OP filmstudent 4 | 5
2 Nov 2015 #8
Interesting... does 214 allow you to type the em dash and lowered quotations? Most of what I'm doing is copy typing Polish books, which I then go through and type an interlinear word-for-word English translation, to help me with learning Polish. The perfectionist in me just wants to type the proper characters when I come across dialogue. I haven't found interlinear Polish/Englush books anywhere, only dual language books that translate the full meaning, not the individual words... and typing helps me absorb it more than reading anyway.
Polonius3 1,000 | 12,446
2 Nov 2015 #9
Yes, the first quotation mark is even with the line whilst the closing one is higher. The em dash is made by typing two hyphens which coalesce into the em sash when you hit the space bar.

I should have added that you also have all the American figures engraved on the keytops including #, ¤, &, *, <, > and $.
OP filmstudent 4 | 5
2 Nov 2015 #10
Nice, I'll give that layout another try and see how it fits. Thanks!!
Polonius3 1,000 | 12,446
3 Nov 2015 #11
that layout

The Polish Typist's Keyboard 214 may be difficult to find, since copy-cat Poles generally use the clumsy "cowboy" (American) keyboard requiring time-consuming double-typing each time any of the 9 Polish accented letters (ą, ę, ć, ł, ń, ó, ś, ź and ż) needs to be typed. For upper case triple-typing is required! You can order a Polska 214 COD at:

Mr Andrzej Dziubosz there speaks good English. Their phone No. is:
(32) 723 2020.

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