What can I do with regional formats and languages?

You can change the format Windows uses to display information (such as dates, times, currency, and measurements) so that it matches the standards or language used in the country or region where you're located. For example, if you work on documents in both French and English, you can change the format to French so that you can display currency in euros or display dates in the day/month/year format. For more information, see Change the display of dates, times, currency, and measurements.

If you need to type and edit documents in more than one language, you can add input languages. Many input languages support a variety of keyboard layouts, input method editors (IMEs), and speech and handwriting recognition programs. Deciding which of these options to use is usually a matter of personal preference. Experiment with the options to discover which work best for you. Even if you do most of your work in one language, you might want to try other keyboard layouts. For example, if you need to type accented letters in English, it might be easier to use the United States-International keyboard layout instead of the standard U.S. keyboard layout.

When you add input languages, keyboard layouts, input method editors, or speech or handwriting recognition programs, Windows displays the Language bar on your desktop. The Language bar provides a quick way to change the input language or keyboard layout from your desktop. For more information, see The Language bar (overview).

You can also change the display language—the language that the user interface text is displayed in—so that you can view wizards, dialog boxes, menus, and other items in a different language. Some display languages are installed by default and others require you to install language files. For more information, see Install or change a display language.