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Code & tips >> Phonetic Cyrillic keyboard file for Windows 95

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One frustration of having Cyrillic support installed under Windows 95 is that Microsoft (to date) offers only one Cyrillic keyboard mapping to users, the so-called "standard" layout. Unfortunately, a significant number of folks prefer to use some other (e.g. homophonic/phonetic, KOI8-R) version of keyboard layout.

The following keyboard layout files can be downloaded from this site: I have found the simplest way to change from one to another mapping is as follows:
  1. First, make a copy of the file kbdru.kbd (which was installed by Windows 95) in your \windows\system directory and give it a new name, such as kbdru.std.kbd. (This step permits you to restore the Microsoft standard layout later, if you want.)
  2. Copy the other keyboard file(s) into the same directory, retaining unique names.
  3. To "install" a keyboard (for example, the phonetic keyboard), copy the and name it kbdru.kbd in the \windows\system directory.
  4. Restart your machine. Windows will load the "new" keyboard file the same way it did the "old" file, except now the keyboard will have a phonetic layout.
  5. Important! Note that, having replaced a particular keyboard file, you no longer have the ability to type using that keyboard layout unless you repeat the previous steps to replace the corresponding keyboard file. (For example, to restore the Microsoft standard keyboard layout, copy kbdru.std.kbd, naming it kbdru.kbd, and restart your machine.)
As mentioned above, if you're looking for a more generic solution to the problem of mapping Cyrillic (or any) keyboards in Windows 95, download Janko's Keyboard Generator for Windows 95, a nifty shareware utility that requires no fancy installation. Using this tool, remap your key layout to your own liking, and then plug the resulting file into the \windows\system directory, as explained above.

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