It’s been awhile since I wrote about a tool, but this tool is so fantastic that I had to share it. I am like most people, I have an English based computer system and keyboard. There is nothing wrong with that, but it does make typing in a foreign language quite difficult. I know windows lets you go into the language settings and add Thai and Spanish keyboards (I have already done that), but I still don’t know where characters are mapped out. I have never taken a keyboarding class in Thai or Spanish. Buying a keyboard wouldn’t do either. For one, it would just confuse my kids and I don’t want to be switching between Thai and Spanish Keyboards.
Online virtual keyboards are OK, but they typically made me open up a separate window just to type what I wanted to type. I had narrowed down my typing to two options. I memorized that if you type Ctrl + 164, you get an “ñ” and left everything else to context for Spanish. For Thai, I would only type with my iPod touch, since unlocking the Thai and Spanish keyboards let me actually see what I was typing(with the added benefit/problem of auto correct in that language)
Then I found it !!
A couple of nights ago, I wanted to type in Thai and doing it on my iPod was not an option. I was looking up virtual keyboards and found that Chrome has a web tool that you can add-on to you browser. After you install it, you will see this in the right hand side of your address bar:
When you click the miniature keyboard, a bigger keyboard will appear at the bottom of the page, just like the image above. English is the default language, but you can add other keyboards by clicking the check box. This will take you to a new screen to add other languages.
The great thing about this tool, is that even though it appears as a keyboard that you would have to click on with you mouse, which you can do if you want. You can still type with your regular keyboard and which ever language is set on the virtual keyboard will apply to your typing.
I hope this is useful. If anyone has any other useful tools, just send them my way here in the comments. Just for laughs, here is a YouTube video about why typing with the ‘ñ’ is so important in Spanish. This is from non other than Michael Peña. Enjoy: