How to type in Hungarian using Windows

(and - How to type in any foreign language using Windows)

These instructions are for ALL versions:

Windows 95, 98, 98se, Me, 2000, XP, Vista and Window 7

They also apply for any other language.

Prepared by Lél F. Somogyi for the Hungarian Association


Revised and updated March 26, 2010



It is very easy to type and print using true Hungarian letters (with all diacritic marks), or for that matter using letters for most of the world's languages, on any Windows 95, 98, 98se, Me, 2000, XP, Vista or Windows 7 computer (including server versions) without the need for special programs or add-ons.


Microsoft gives you multilanguage support for free. All you have to do is turn it on and use it.


In this article instructions are given for turning on language support for all versions of Windows starting with Windows 95. The first set of instructions are for Windows 7. They are followed by instructions for Vista, XP and 2000. Later in the article you will find instructions for 95, 98, 98se and Me.


How to type in Hungarian using Windows 7

Click on the Windows Orb, the “Start” button, and then on Control Panel.

In the View by Category view, find Clock, Language and Region and under it click on Change keyboards or other input methods.

Click on the Keyboards and Languages tab and then click on Change keyboards.

In the General tab, under Installed services, click on the Add button.

Scroll down to Hungarian, and click on the little + sign to expand out the options, then click the check box for Hungarian 101-key, then click OK.

Under the General tab you will see Hungarian is now present.

Click on the Language Bar tab and click on the circular button Docked in the taskbar and then click Apply.

Click the Advanced Key Settings and then Change Key Sequence at the bottom of the window.

Click under Switch Input Language on the circular button Ctrl + Shift and then OK.

Then click OK two times to return to the Control Panel window. Close this window.

In the Task Tray in the lower right corner of your screen you will see EN.  If you click once on it you will see that Hungarian is also available.

If you want to switch the input language and the keyboard layout, press the left Shift and left Ctrl buttons simultaneously, that is together, once and you will see the input change to HU.

To type in Hungarian, you will want to label your keyboard so you know which keys are the Hungarian keys. To see the keyboard layout, go back to where you made the changes and click on the Hungarian 101-key and then then on Properties.


After clicking on Properties you will see the Hungarian 101-key layout.

Using sticky labels and a hole punch, make little labels and label them with the Hungarian letters. Stick these on your keyboard so you know where the Hungarian letters are.

You are all set to type in Hungarian now.

As an example, start Word and begin typing in a new document. Glance to see if you are in EN or HU mode. To type special characters you are used to finding on the English keyboard, make sure you are in EN mode and then type the character (like & or @ or ?). Switch to HU to type the letters in Hungarian. Note that on the Hungarian keyboard, many of the special characters are in different locations. You can label these, too, if you want.

You can use the HU mode in any Windows program that does not specifically prohibit its use. In Windows 7, since it is a very international version of the Windows operating system, almost all programs support languages.


How to type in Hungarian using Windows Vista

Go to Control Panel and use Classic View.

Double click on Regional and Language Options.

Click on the Keyboards and Languages tab.

Click on Change keyboards.

Click on Add.

Scroll down to Hungarian and deselect Hungarian under keyboard, leaving only Hungarian 101 (The other one is the Hungarian style keyboard that reverses y and z and a few other changes.), then click OK.

Then click on Language Bar tab and click on Docked in taskbar.

Then click OK to apply the changes, then OK again.

You will see an EN to the left of your Task Tray in the lower right of your screen. You can click on it to change input languages, or you can use Ctrl+Shift together to switch while typing.

You will want to switch back and forth mostly for punctuation on the number line of your keyboard, since the English placement is what you see on your keyboard.

By the way, you can get a preview of the keyboard by looking at the properties in the settings:

Hint: Put little stickers on your keyboard keys to show where the Hungarian letters are located.


How to type in Hungarian using Windows XP

With XP, compared to earlier versions of Windows, Microsoft radically changed and simplified the way you do things with languages. They put everything you need to do in one area. The following instructions are from the Help system in XP:

To add another language:

  1. Open Regional and Language Options in Control Panel.
  2. On the Languages tab, under Text services and input languages, click Details.
  3. Under Installed services, click Add.
  4. In the Input language list, click the language you want to add.
  5. Select the check box for the type of text service you want to install, if multiple options are available, and then click a service in the list. If Keyboard Layout/IME is the only type of service available, click an option in that list.



To open Regional and Language Options, click Start, click Control Panel, and then double-click Regional and Language Options.

Add an input language if you want to insert or display text in that language. You must select at least one text service, such as a keyboard layout or Input Method Editor (IME), when you add a new language.

Add only those languages you will use. Each language you add is loaded into memory when you start your computer and can affect performance.

If the Language bar is displayed, you can right-click the Language bar and then click Settings to open the Text Services and Input Languages dialog box.

Now you have to select a keyboard.  You want to use the Hungarian 101 to get the y and z in the correct US position.

To add another keyboard layout or Input Method Editor (IME): 

  1. Open Regional and Language Options in Control Panel.
  2. On the Languages tab, under Text services and input languages, click Details.
  3. Under Installed services, click Add.
  4. In the Input language list, click the language for the keyboard layout or Input Method Editor (IME) you want to add.
  5. Select the Keyboard layout/IME check box, if multiple options are available, and then click a service in the list. If Keyboard Layout/IME is the only type of text service available, click an option in that list.



To open Regional and Language Options, click Start, click Control Panel, and then  double-click Regional and Language Options.

There may be only one keyboard layout for some languages.

To add an IME, you must have installed it on your computer first.


How to type in Hungarian using Windows 2000 Professional


It is easy to add language support in Windows 2000 Professional.


  1. Click on Start then Control Panel
  2. In Control Panel, click on Regional Options.
  3. In the General tab, in the Language settings for the system frame, click the box for Central Europe, then click Apply
  4. You will be prompted to insert your Windows 2000 Professional CD-ROM. Do this and then click on OK.
  5. You will be prompted to restart your computer. Answer No for now. Then click on the Input Locales tab in Regional Options and in the Installed input locales frame, click Add and select the Input locale Hungarian.
  6. In the Keyboard layout/IME change Hungarian to Hungarian 101 (this gives you the y and z in the US positions, but all the other  Hungarian characters where you would expect them on the Hungarian keyboard). Then select OK and OK on the Regional Options window.
  7. Now, reboot your computer and you will have Hungarian and English enabled.
  8. You can easily switch using the default Shift-Alt combination.



How to type in Hungarian using Windows 95, 98, 98se and Me

This is what you need to do (and you may need your Windows diskettes or CD and for Windows 95 users maybe your Plus CD):

  1. Click on Control Panel
  2. Click on Add/remove programs
  3. Click on Windows Setup
  4. In Components window scoll down to Multilanguage Support (if it is not there, your install of Windows 95 may have to be repeated with the Custom selection and then the checking of the Multilanguage component. Multilanguage Support should be there for Windows 98, 98se and Me without you having to go back to your CDs.)
  5. Highlight Multilanguage Support
  6. Click on Details under Description
  7. Select only Central European language support
  8. Click OK
  9. Click OK under the Add/remove programs window
  10. If prompted, tell your computer where the Windows 95 CD is or insert the requested floppy
  11. When you are done, don't reboot yet
  12. Go back to Control Panel
  13. Click on Keyboard
  14. Click on Language tab
  15. Click on Add
  16. Scroll down and highlight Hungarian (or your language of choice)
  17. Click OK. (You are not done yet.)
  18. Click on Hungarian (or your language of choice) in the Installed languages and keyboard window
  19. Click on Properties
  20. Scroll down and select the Hungarian -101 keys keyboard layout (or the keyboard you want for your language of choice). Very important: The Hungarian 101 layout leaves the Y & Z keys in their correct American position and gives the correct positioning for the Hungarian accented letters on the keyboard – recommended.)
  21. Click OK
  22. Click Apply on Keyboard Properties windows bottom
  23. Click OK
  24. Click Start and restart Windows 95 to make it show up
  25. When Windows comes up, you will see an En in a blue square in the right lower corner of the taskbar. This means Multilanguage support is installed and English is the default setting.


Other information for Windows 95, 98, 98se and Me
(and concepts apply in general to 2000 and XP):

Start Word or other word processing, or a Microsoft, application. Most support the multilanguage option directly. It even works with WordPad.

Select Times Roman or Arial as your document font.

Press the left Shift+ALT (or the left Shift+Ctrl) to select between the English and Hungarian keyboard layout (or whatever your language of choice). If the En does not switch to Hu, it means that application is very old and was not designed to support switching code pages, and this is your clue not to use that program if you really want to type in Hungarian. (Hint: Before you decide your application is to blame, first make sure you click inside the active window of your application before you try this switch, because it won’t work outside of a specific application.)

In your word processing program, you can switch anywhere in your typing, even in the middle of a word. For Hungarian, the accented i is the tilde key left of 1. Other accented characters are on the right on the 0 - =3D [ ] \ ; ' , . / keys. The number keys along the top of the keyboard also have the shift position characters arranged Hungarian style. (Hint: put little stickers on the keys using contact paper. If you have a hole punch, punch a few holes, write the letter on it, and stick it on your keyboard. I print the characters on contact paper using my laser printer to be neat, but handwriting is good too. I have typeset whole books this way without the stickers falling off.)

Note that originally for Windows 95 multilanguage support, fonts were called Times Roman CE or Arial CE fonts. Now, your main Hungarian fonts will be called Times Roman and Arial but will support the extended character sets as part of the standard fonts. The double accented o and u show up. With multilanguage installed the  ^ and ~ characters over the letters are eliminated if you use the right fonts (see below for where to get more fonts.)

The Hungarian letters work in email too if you are using Microsoft Outlook, Outlook Express, Mail or any of the fully Windows compliant and MIME capable email systems (AOL does too), so email can be sent and all the characters show up correctly. The solution is simple for old AOL; just attach a document and send it with your email.

To have more flexibility and to manage your fonts best, do this too:

1.    Install this free utility for Windows 95 and 98, the Font properties extension, so you can determine if your fonts support unicode and the Latin 1250 code page which are needed for Hungarian character support.

2.    Once you have installed the Font properties extension, and you have Windows 95 or 98, then download Microsoft’s Multilanguage fonts. You can get them here: Former Core fonts for the Web homepage (Courtesy of the Internet Archive).  

·         To determine what you have, use the Control Panel Fonts utility program to show your font list.

·         Right click on a font, and then click on Open to show the font style (this won’t show you if it contains Hungarian character, however). You can see what it looks like.

·         Now, right click on a font and then click on Properties. If you installed the Font properties extension you can go to the tab marked CharSet/Unicode and see if the Support Code Page window lists 1250, which means the Hungarian characters are available in that font.

3.    To try your font, go to Word or any other Windows word processor, select a font you want to try to type in Hungarian with, make sure you switch to the Hungarian support by pressing Shift+CTRL or Shift+Alt (depending on which key combination you enabled), and type using the [ and \ keys to test for the double accented Hungarian letters.



I think all Hungarian organizations (in fact all ethnic organizations) should nominate Bill Gates of Microsoft for their organization's highest award for doing the most of anyone in the world to preserve the Hungarian language and culture outside of Hungary by having made language support standard on every single PC in the world.

In fact, since you can support as many languages and keyboards at the same time as you want, Microsoft is doing the same to preserve all of the minority languages of the world.

Whether we realize it or not right now, language support in Windows is the greatest single thing ever done to save the world's smaller languages from an extinction due to the use of computers, since now it is the computer that makes it just as easy to write and communicate in any language as in English.

You can send the link to this page or email these instructions to anyone who may be interested, since it seems even today very few people know about these language capabilities of Windows.