How did this happen? A wrong keystroke and on the screen cryptic special characters appear instead of umlauts or a „Z“ instead of „Y“. Your keyboard has changed. How you can change your keyboard and which solutions there are for further problems around the keys: We’ll tell you in our Weekly Hack!

Change the keyboard to German: How to turn „Y“ into „Z“ again

If you actually want to type a „Y“ but a „Z“ comes out and umlauts no longer work, your keyboard is set to German. This can be fixed in just a few steps! With Windows, the keyboard switches when you press the key combination Shift + ALT. Back it goes on the same way: With the keys you come very fast back to the English keyboard. By the way, this is also where the name QWERTZ keyboard comes from. This results from the first six letters of the upper row of keys from left to right.

Small tip if you regularly need to switch between English and German keyboards and work with Windows 10: Only one language is installed here, so you’ll need to add more. This is how it works:

  1. Click on the language on your desktop (bottom right), e.g. ENG.
  2. Select Language Settings.
  3. Click Add Language.
  4. Select German and then the desired language, e.g. German (Germany).
  5. The language is added.

You can then switch between the installed languages as you wish using the shortcut keys above.

Using the Windows keyboard on your Mac

There are plenty of reasons to use a Windows keyboard on your Mac, especially if you need to type longer texts. Most Windows keyboards are much more comfortable for your wrists and fingers. But here’s the small but subtle difference in keyboard layout. The Windows keyboard has a control and ALT key, while the Mac has Alt (⌥), Control (ctrl), and Command (⌘) keys. Since the Windows keyboard takes over the functions of the individual keys, you either have to change or change the arrangement as follows:
Translated with
  1. Click the Apple logo on the menu bar (top of the screen) and select System Preferences.
  2. Here, select Keyboard and click Keyboard → Special Keys, then click your Windows keyboard under Select Keyboard.
  3. In the drop-down menu, click the ⌘ button and the ⌥ button to change the function of the two buttons.

Now you can use familiar keyboard shortcuts and combinations on your Windows keyboard.

So einfach können Sie die Tastatur umstellen und weitere Tastatur-Probleme lösen!If the text is overwritten…

It’s a hair puller: you want to add more words to your lines written in Microsoft Word and each word of the text you have already written will be overwritten. The „Overwrite mode“ is activated. Quick help is needed to get back to the so-called „insert mode“. Simply press the Insert  key. In this way you can change the keyboard again and you can insert your additions in the text as usual.

If you want to activate the overwrite function, you must take a small detour depending on the Word version. Go to File → Options → Advanced and tick the Use Ins key to control overwrite mode check box. If you want to overwrite your texts permanently, you can check Use overwrite mode.

Capital letters only? How to reset the keyboard

If you are only typing uppercase letters, you have probably activated the Caps Lock key. You can find the key on the left side of your keyboard with the arrow pointing down. In most cases, a light will light up either directly on the key or at the top right of the keyboard. To reset the keyboard, press the Caps Lock key again. If the light no longer illuminates, you can continue typing normally.
By the way: If you only see numbers, the third assignment of the keys – the numeric keypad – could be activated. With the shortcut FN + Num you can change the keyboard. If you do not have FN keys on your keyboard, you can change the normal keyboard by pressing ALT + Shift.


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