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Japanese input with Azerty in Windows 8.1

November 12, 2013

From Windows Vista on, enabling Japanese input became much simpler compared to Windows XP where you were required to install the Eastern Asian Languages package to display Japanese characters onscreen as well as to enable Microsoft IME to type Japanese characters.

Had previously shared how to activate Japanese input in Windows 7 and how to enable another keyboard layout for Microsoft IME by changing a value in the Windows registry.


Like in previous versions of Microsoft’s operating system, a drawback of activating Japanese input in Windows 8.1 is that the default layout used by Microsoft IME may not correspond to the keyboard you are using.

To change the layout used by Microsoft IME for Japanese input, you can modify a value in the Windows registry. Will describe below how to change that registry value to activate the Azerty Belgian (Period) keyboard layout.
(The same method also applies to activate other keyboard layouts like Spanish, Russian or Thai.)


First, open the Windows registry editor, you can accomplish this by right-clicking on the Windows start button, then clicking on the “Run” option.


In the “Run” window that appears, type regedit in the ‘Open’ field and click on the “Ok” button.


The “Registry Editor” window will appear, there navigate to the folder containing the registry values for the Japanese input keyboard layout: Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Keyboard Layouts0000411\

In that specific folder, select and double click on the line ‘Layout File’.
The “Edit String” window will appear, in the ‘Value data’ field enter the text KBDBE.DLL for the Azerty Belgian (Period) keyboard layout and click on the “Ok” button. Now exit the registry editor.

Alternatively, if you are using another keyboard, you can enter the correct .dll value for your specific layout in the value data field.


When you switch to Japanese input using the combination of Windows key + Space bar, your keyboard layout to type Japanese will have changed to the new value specified in the registry.

For your convenience, described below is a method to enable Japanese input itself in Windows 8.1, which has been simplified compared to Windows 7.


Right-click on the Windows start button, then click on the “Control Panel” option.


The “Control Panel” window will appear, there select and click on the “Change input methods” option found in the “Clock, Language and Region” section.


In the “Language” window, click on the “Add a language” button.


The “Add languages” window will appear, in the alphabetically sorted list of languages scroll down to the letter ‘J’, there select “Japanese” and click on the “Add” button. Japanese input with IME has now been added.

Changing between input languages in Windows 8.1 can easily be done by pressing the Windows key + Space bar combination.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Migeru permalink
    April 2, 2014 2:06 pm

    great, you gave me a nice and quick response for my qwerty issues in 8.1 and correct DLL-name, since i’m also from Belgium ^^

  2. Khad permalink
    February 11, 2016 3:47 pm


    I successfully changed my layout from qwerty to azerty thanks to your article. Do you know, by any chance, how to switch from romaji to hiragana input using the keyboard when in IME mode ?



  3. February 11, 2016 7:07 pm

    You can try assigning a key to switch between Kana/Romaji. Go to the Microsoft IME “Properties” when in IME mode, then go to Advanced to get the “Advanced Settings for Microsoft IME” window.
    In the “General” tab in ‘Editing operation and behavior’ if you click on “Advanced” there you should be able to assign a key for “Input Method”. Apply your changes.
    If it works then the first time you press they key in IME mode it’ll show a pop-up “Do you want to switch between Romaji input and Kana input using this shortcut key?”

  4. Khad permalink
    February 14, 2016 6:35 pm

    Thank you for your reply. I’ve been struggling with this for days. The input method is not really what I want to change, I may have explained it wrong. What I want to change is more like the output. Toggle between hiragana, katakana, alphanumeric, etc. Any idea ?

  5. February 14, 2016 6:43 pm

    Not too sure about that one, a hotkey to toggle between those. Had another look at the advanced settings and didn’t spot one right away that seems to govern this.

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