Ukrainian Phonetic Keyboard for Windows Vista and Windows 7

rev. 10 December 2009

 

Introduction

 

Windows Vista and Windows 7 both support the display and creation of text in multiple languages, including Ukrainian. Also, many of the standard fonts Arial, Times New Roman, Courier New, and Verdana, for example that are accessible from MS Word and other applications already support the creation and display of Ukrainian Cyrillic characters.

 

To type in Ukrainian from your existing physical keyboard, a small piece of system software called a Ukrainian keyboard driver needs to be installed. Windows Vista and Windows 7 both include a Ukrainian keyboard driver created by Microsoft. Unfortunately, that driver is based on the layout of a russified Ukrainian typewriter keyboard, which makes it difficult for those of us who grew up with the standard English QWERTY keyboard to learn and memorize a second keyboard layout.

 

A better approach is a phonetic keyboard layout that makes an existing key on your physical English keyboard generate its phonetically or orthographically closest corresponding letter in Ukrainian. For example, the F key generates the Ukrainian letter , the G key the letter , etc.

 

We have used Microsofts own Keyboard Layout Creator program to produce such a keyboard driver, called Ukrainian Phonetic Keyboard 3. This keyboard driver for Widows Vista and Windows 7 is functionally identical to Ukrainian Phonetic Keyboard 2 for Windows XP that we previously released in 2004.

 

 

Ukrainian Phonetic Keyboard 3

 

+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+---------+

| | ! | : | | ; | % | V | | ? | ( | ) | | | |

| | 1| 2| 3| 4| 5| 6| 7| 8| 9| 0| - | =| Bksp |

+----+-+--+-+--+-+--+-+--+-+--+-+--+-+--+-+--+-+--+-+--+-+--+-+--+-+-------+

| Tab | | | | | | | | | | | | | |

| Tab | Q| W| E| R| T| Y| U| I| O| P| [| ]| \ |

+------+----+--+-+--+-+--+-+--+-+--+-+--+-+--+-+--+-+--+-+--+-+--+-+-------+

| Caps | | | | | | | | | | | | |

| Lock | A| S| D| F| G| H| J| K| L| ;| '| Enter |

+---------+-+--+-+--+-+--+-+--+-+--+-+--+-+--+-+--+-+--+-+--+-+--+---------+

| | | | | | | | | | | | |

| Shift | Z| X| C| V| B| N| M|, ,|. .| /| Shift |

+-----------+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+------------+

 

 

In this layout, the vowels are grouped at the top right of the keyboard and the consonants at the bottom right. All the commonly used punctuation and special characters, except for comma and period, appear in the top row of keys in their Shift state.

 

Printed Ukrainian often requires special quotation marks. These also appear on this keyboard:

  • the special opening and closing quotation marks on the topmost left key,
  • the other common set of opening and closing quotation marks as the shifted comma and period keys,
  • the em-dash character as the shifted hyphen key.

 

The top row also contains the character for prefixing a number and a capital V for typing the April-to-August portion of a date as a Roman numeral.

 

 

Using the Ukrainian Phonetic Keyboard

 

When the keyboard is installed as recommended in the section below, a language icon appears on your Windows Task Bar near the System Tray. The icon displays EN when your keyboard is in English or UK when your keyboard is in Ukrainian.

 

The quickest way to toggle between the two keyboards is to hold down the left Alt key and push the Shift key. Another way is to left-click the language icon in the Task Bar and then to click on the desired language mode in the list that pops up.

 

The special characters ` ~ @ $ ^ & * _ + = { } | [ ] \ < > / do not appear on this Ukrainian keyboard. If you need to type any of them, either temporarily toggle over to the English keyboard, or remain in the Ukrainian keyboard and access them from their English-keyboard locations by holding down the Ctrl and Alt keys when you strike the desired unshifted or shifted key.

 

 

Installing the Ukrainian Phonetic Keyboard on Windows Vista and Windows 7

 

[This procedure has been demonstrated to work on several editions of Windows Vista and Windows 7. It is not guaranteed to work with any other flavor or release of Windows.]

 

Note: Before you install, we strongly recommend that you go to Start / Settings / Control Panel / Folder Options, click the View tab, and uncheck Hide extensions for known file types. This will make visible the extensions of all the filenames in the procedure below.

 

1. Download the installation and driver files.

 

Download the small file KBDURPH3.zip (275 KB) and open it. From the File menu, select Extract All ... to extract all the contained files into a folder on your Windows desktop or elsewhere. (If you need zipping software, you can download a free-trial version from http://www.winzip.com/). If youve instead received these files on a CD, copy the entire CD into a folder.

 

2. Install the Ukrainian keyboard driver

 

Go to that folder and open or double-click on the file setup.exe. This launches a Microsoft Installer program that installs the Ukrainian Phonetic Keyboard driver (which is located in the i386 folder and called KBDURPH3.dll) into the system file directory and makes its existence known to Windows. (You can at some time in the future launch this same program to remove or replace this keyboard driver with a newer version if you so choose).

 

3. Make the Ukrainian phonetic keyboard accessible

 

On Windows Vista and Windows 7, the Installer automatically adds the Ukrainian keyboard to the language bar.

 

Thats it. You are now ready to create documents and send emails in Ukrainian.

 

 

Warning: This is not a formally supported product, and no warranty is expressed or implied. Although users have not reported any problems with this keyboard driver, you install it and use it at your own risk, and your own installation and configuration procedure may differ from that described here.

 

 

Known Limitations

 

This keyboard driver has been successfully installed and tested under Vista Home Premium SP1, Vista Home Basic SP2, Vista Ultimate SP2, Vista Enterprise SP2 (64-bit), Windows 7 Home Premium, and Windows 7 Ultimate (32-bit).

 

It has also been successfully tested under the following applications:

Browsers: IE 7.0 and 8.0, Firefox 3.0 and 3.5, Opera 10.0, Chrome 3.0

Messengers: Skype, Google Talk, MSN

Text Editors: Notepad

Email programs: Windows Mail, Yahoo! mail, Gmail.

Office suites: Microsoft Office 2003 suite, Microsoft Office 2007 Suite

 

Because of limitations in some Microsoft Office programs such as Word and Outlook, and under MSN Messenger, using the Ctrl and Alt keys together on the Ukrainian (UK) keyboard to access the four characters ^ = ? from the English (EN) keyboard does not work. If you encounter this limitation, simply toggle over to the EN keyboard to type those characters directly.

 

 

Pricing

 

The Ukrainian Phonetic Keyboard driver is available free of charge. However, if you would like to express your appreciation or gratitude, please consider joining or making a tax-deductible donation of $25 or more to the Ukrainian Museum in New York.

 

 

Sending Ukrainian Email Using Microsoft Windows Mail

 

In order to make your outgoing Ukrainian emails from Windows Mail easily readable in your recipients email reader without his having to type special commands, you may have to set your message encoding to Cyrillic.

 

To do this for individual messages, when you are creating a message in the New Message window go to the Format menu and select Encoding and then Cyrillic(Windows).

 

To enable this feature for all your outgoing messages, from your main menu bar go to the

Tools menu and then select

Options...

Send tab

International Settings... button

select Cyrillic Windows from the drop-down list as the default encoding.

 

 

Contact Us

 

Please send your questions, comments or suggestions to .

 

 

Copyright 2009 by Eugene Shklar. All rights reserved.