(Win10) Changing Hotkey for Japanese Keyboard, and *Custom* Hotkeys

I spent the better part of an hour learning how to do this, so I thought I should share (I already shared it on Duolingo, but I figure there are more “advanced” users here too). The first thing you should know is that you can change the hotkey you use to switch between input languages in Windows 10. That part’s not very hard, and there are instructions here for how to do it. The shortcoming is that you can only select 3 preset hotkeys (Ctrl+Shift, Left Alt+Shift and the ` key).

So this is where the fun comes in. I used to use Ctrl+Space on Linux to switch, but I can’t on Windows, so I found a program called AutoHotKey to remap my hotkeys. Once you’ve installed it, you can right click in a folder and go to New->AutoHotKey Script and it’ll create a small text-based document you can edit to change your key behavior.

For my example, I set my hotkey in Windows to Ctrl+Shift. To change it to Ctrl+Space, I added this simple code to my AHK script (under the few lines it puts by default):


Easy. This presses Ctrl+Shift anytime I press Ctrl+Space, which changes my input! Now I’m happy. :slight_smile: All you have to do after saving your script is double-click the script to run it. If you get it working properly, you can have it auto-run every time Windows starts up by following the instructions here. There are many keys you could choose. When you open AutoHotKey by itself and it pops up the help, go to “Usage and Syntax → List of Keys” in the left pane.

I hope this is helpful for some control freaks out there. Cheers!


I use AutoHotKey at work. Make Visual Studio behave a bit more like Atom, as well as just general shortcuts and snippets across a few programs. You can get pretty darn complex with your AHK stuff.


Yeah I bet. I’m happy with this usage for now, it took me way too long to actually figure out how to get it to work the way I wanted lol.

That’s an option, but there’s also the built-in windows shortcuts:

  • Alt + Shift switch between languages (IMEs)
  • Ctrl + Caps Lock switch to Hiragana
  • Alt + Caps Lock if in alphanumeric mode change to Hiragana, then switch to Katakana
  • Shift + Caps Lock switch between full-width Hiragana ↔ full-width alphanumeric (romaji)
  • Alt + ` (Grave Accent) switch between kana ↔ half-width alphanumeric (romaji)
  • Alt + ~ (Tilde) toggle kana/direct input
  • ↵ Enter no conversion, all previous characters are accepted “as is” (all propositions from IME are rejected)
  • Space convert current word (last characters) to the first word in the list of proposals
  • 2 3 4 5 6 convert to the 2nd-6th word in the list
  • F6 convert selected word/characters to full-width hiragana (standard hiragana): ホワイト → ほわいと
  • F7 convert to full-width katakana (standard katakana): ほわいと → ホワイト
  • F8 convert to half-width katakana (katakana for specific purpose): ホワイト → ホワイト
  • F9 convert to full-width romaji , all-capitals, proper noun capitalization (latin script inside Japanese text): ホワイト → howaito → HOWAITO → Howaito
  • F10 convert to half-width romaji , all-capitals, proper noun capitalization (latin script like standard English): ホワイト → howaito → HOWAITO → Howaito

Thanks for posting this! There were several commands I didn’t know about! ^>^

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