How to Type Spanish in Windows 7

Translate button on keyboard

1.  In Windows 7, go to “Start -> Control Panel -> Clock, Language, and Region -> Region and Language“…

Region Language in Windows 7 Control Panel

2.  In the Region and Language dialog that comes up, go to the Keyboards and Languages tab and click the Change keyboards button …

change keyboard in Windows 7

3.  As you can see in the Text Services and Input Languages dialog, only the US keyboard is currently installed.  Click the Add button …

add language keyboard in Windows 7

4.  In the Add Input Language dialog, select the Spanish input language…

add input dialog in Windows 7

and click OK.

5. Now your Text Services and Input Languages dialog should shows the Spanish keyboard in addition to the English keyboard …

spanish keyboard added to Windows 7

Click OK to this and the other dialog boxes.

6. Now you should see the the language bar icon appear in the Notification Area.

language icon in Windows 7 notification area

This icon appears whenever you have more than one language keyboard installed.  The EN that is currently showing indicates that the English keyboard is currently in use for the current active application.

7.  Whenever you want switch to the Spanish keyboard, click on the language icon and checkmark the Spanish keyboard.

switch to spanish keyboard in Windows 7

8.  Sometimes it helps to have an on-screen keyboard for Spanish.  Bring that up the on-screen keyboard by Start -> All Programs -> Accessories -> Ease Of Use -> On-Screen Keyboard

Windows 7 on-screen keyboard

9. Launch WordPad (which comes with Windows 7) to try typing in Spanish.  Whenever you switch to another application, you have to watch the language icon, because it may switch back to English depending on what application you are using.  If you don’t see the Spanish language icon in WordPad, click the language icon in the Notification Area and switch to Spanish as described above.

Notice that the Spanish On-Screen keyboard has some keys that are different.   In particular, see the Spanish enyay or Spanish n with the diacritical tilde which sometimes is used in the word “Senor”…

spanish on-screen keyboard

10.  To uninstall a keyboard, go back to the Text Services and input languages dialog, select the language to remove and click the Remove button.  Click OK to the rest of the dialogs.

remove language keyboard