Japanese Keybaord-Fu

For the benefit of the Internet, the key combination Control+Shift+Hiragana_Katakana puts the keyboard to and from the qwerty layout. Unfortunately the story doesn’t end there. Control+Shift+Hiragana_Katakana actually alternates between half-width katakana layout and qwerty layout modes. If you are unlucky enough to accidentally press that key combination while in full-width character mode (Like I did) you will be pleasantly surprised to find that the same key combination doesn’t take you out of the Kana layout mode! The language bar isn’t going to help you either because the keyboard map between qwerty and kana mode isn’t handled in the input method! (Great design guys!). If you are in full-width character mode you need to press ALT+Hiragana_Katakana (TWICE!!!!) to get back into the full-width qwerty layout. This because the first time you press it it’ll take you into the full-width kana layout again!

(Since I map the Caps Lock key to Control, it might be possible that the combination is Caps Lock+Shift+Hiragana_Katakana. Changing this mapping in Windows requires messing with the registry so I’m not going to try it. Perhaps Lazyweb can confirm it for me. )

In the hour I spent smashing every key combination possible I found some other equally useless combinations. Here’s a list of my findings.

  • (Full-width mode) ALT+Hiragana_Katakana: Toggle qwerty and kana layout modes
  • (Half-width mode) CTRL+Shift+Hiragana_Katakana: Toggle half width querty and kana layout modes (toggles full-width romaji in full-width mode)
  • (Full-width mode) Shift+Muhenkan: Toggle between kana and full-width romaji
  • (Full-width mode) Shift+Henkan: Toogle between kana and half-width romaji modes

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