Windows 2000: tuning the new OS

Sprechen sie deutsche? Se habla español? Want to write letters in those languages - or read a document written in yet a different language? Windows 2000 lets you localise the layout of the keyboard and other system settings to include languages with alphabets as diverse as Cyrillic, Hebrew and Thai. These settings also include alternate formats for rendering dates (which in the US, for example, run mm/dd/yy), currency and numbers. Best of all, you can install support for multiple languages and swap them in when you need them.

To set up a new language for your system, log on as Administrator, then open Control Panel's Regional Options. Click the Input Locales tab. Click the Add button, and select a new language from the Input Locale drop-down list box and the appropriate keyboard layout from the other drop-down list box. In the Installed Input Locales list, a check mark appears next to the default Input language.

Once you've installed all the language settings you intend to use, make sure there's a check mark in the box Enable indicator on taskbar. Then click Apply or OK. A blue Regional Settings square with two letters in it will appear in the taskbar's system tray, next to the clock.

When you are ready to handle a foreign-language document, click the blue Regional Settings icon. From the small pop-up list, pick the appropriate language. Menus, toolbars and dialogue boxes will all remain in their original settings, but, in most applications, you will be able to read and write documents in different languages and alphabets, using regional keyboard layouts.

Attention! Cuidado! Vorsicht! If the letters in the Regional Setting square next to the system clock are EN, the language is set for English - but it could be UK or US or Australian or Canadian English, etc. Depending on your preference, click the Regional Settings square to expand the label or change the language.

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