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Can someone recommend a Windows program runnable offline that allows Russian characters to be typed and then cut-and-pasted into other programs, such as for example a text editor or browser?

I would like, for example, to take part in a chat room where some of the conversation is in Russian and some is in English, and to be able to contribute in both languages more or less on the fly without having to have a second browser window open to run a keyboard program that's online and therefore dependent on its website's accessibility. I'd also like to be able to compose text documents using both languages - again, switching back and forth fast.

A program that allows you to type on an onscreen keyboard using a mouse will be fine. One that lets you use your hardware keyboard will also be fine - in fact even better - so long as switching back to English-language keyboard use is quick and unfiddly - for example, if the Russian language facility only works if the program's window is active.

I've found a few programs that run online, such as this, this and this.

I've also looked at this question and the answers to it, but my question is different because I do not want to change my operating system settings.

Thanks for any help with this!

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    Install Russian language into your Windows system. – Anixx Feb 25 '15 at 12:13
  • How about standart windows charmap? You can run it with ctrl+R -> charmap or find it into start menu. It has Russian symbols (actually, it has Cyrillic set - current Russian alphabet is smaller) and a lot of another symbols, but without standart keyboard order (sets has order like in ASCII or UTF8 tables) – aknew Feb 25 '15 at 13:08
  • Anixx, you can set any keyboard languages without setting your system to those locale, but it will be very difficult to use unsigned keyboard with language which was unused before – aknew Feb 25 '15 at 13:14
  • @aknew You can install Russian language, then press all buttons one by one and write their symbols on keyboard with marker pen. Also I can recommend you program Punto Switcher (ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/Punto_Switcher) to automatically switch language when typing. – Dmitriy Feb 25 '15 at 14:45
  • Which version of Windows do you run? In 8.1, once you install Russian layout, a virtual keyboard would pop up when you click on the keyboard icon in the notification area: windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-8/… – Quassnoi Feb 25 '15 at 14:48
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If you are ok with using only a hardware keyboard (you memorized russian keys' positions, or have stickers on it) - then you can simply activate a keyboard layout natively in Windows. Go to Control Panel --> Region and Language. Click on Keyboards and Languages tab, then click Change Keyboards. On General tab press Add, find Russian here and tick it. From now on you can switch between keyboard layouts easily (by default Alt+Shift or Ctrl+Shift).

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  • This is for Windows 7, other versions might have slight differences in naming, but the general idea is clear. – Vilmar Feb 25 '15 at 14:39
  • Thanks @Vilmar! I have now done what you suggest. I'm using XP, which goes Regional and Language Options|Languages|Details. For Russian I only had the standard layout, so I installed a 'Student'/яшерт keyboard from here. As you say, it's very easy to switch between Russian and English at will! The characters ; ' ~ + = have all disappeared, but I can get these by going back to the English keyboard. – h34 Feb 25 '15 at 15:05
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The easiest thing is to use on screen keyboard. It is located in Accessibility in Windows XP. But first you need to add a Russian keyboard via Regional and Languages and also add a shortcut to switch between languages. Then go to Accessibility

http://www.microsoft.com/resources/documentation/windows/xp/all/proddocs/en-us/accessibility_options_installs.mspx?mfr=true

And choose on screen keyboard. It will show you Russian characters, so its easy to type. No need to stick labels on your actual keyboard.

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I use LetterZu since I am already used to it, but installing Russian language would be better.

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