Dvorak 日本語

While most of the stuff I type everyday can be expressed using Latin characters (e.g English and Vietnamese) so I can use Dvorak for them without the need for another keyboard layout. But sometimes I just need to type in a different kind of language, like, what’s the latest くるま model from トヨタ? 😛

The most convenient way to type that in windows is to use the Japanese IME, but the funny part turning on the IME after my Dvorak conversion is I HAVE TO USE QWERTY FOR JAPANESE. It’s easy to say, but it took me 5 friggin’ minutes to figure out why all I can type is あああ 😐

It’s just what happen when you use Windows: every basic function works just fine, but when you want to take it to the next level of customization, something bad happens.

Luckily, I don’t have to abandon my newly learned layout (which I’m getting a better accuracy rate than the old). There’s three ways to do that

Remap your system’s layout

This site show you how and have a nice chart. I found this site first on my search but this have a lot a side effects: First, you have to change your layout back to qwerty and then remap, which could create confusion when you are protecting your user account with passwords (there’s no way you can tell which keyboard layout is in use at the windows logon prompt – a fatal flaw in design I say). Second, this setting is effective system wide, which means non – Dvorak users will never have the chance to share that computer with you.

Remap the IME

Open the MS-IME’s Properties and press the advanced button, you’ll see a mapping table you can edit, just type the Dvorak combination in place of the qwerty ones already there and you can type Japanese, but what happen if you want one or two Romani character in between? This won’t work 😐


There’s nothing a hack won’t fix

There’s a setting in the registry that will let you change the keyboard mapping file for a specific IME and it’s buried in

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetControlKeyboard Layouts

There you will find a bunch of hexadecimal keys, each correspond to a specific IME: Slovak, US, Dvorak, Japanese, Korean… you name it! The code for Japanese (MS-IME 2002) is E0010411, go there and change the value of “LayoutFile” from kbdjpn.dll (actually a qwerty map) to kbddv.dll (Dvorak map) and restart your computer (This is the only way to restart the IME).

If that didn’t work (Microsoft may as well hiding some other option which will override what you have just overridden somewhere else, oh well…), you may need to go to %systemroot%system32 and copy the kbddv.dll over kbdjpn.dll itself, then restart.

Yup, that’s what I did to get what I wanted – type 日本語 with ドヴォラック :P.

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