From:  Ralph Fox <-rf-nz-@-.invalid>
Date:  18 Sep 2010 09:31:07 Hong Kong Time

Re: Scrambled text in Firefox


On Wed, 15 Sep 2010 18:10:29 +0000 (UTC), in message  
Nil wrote:

> Every once in a while, I accidentally fat-finger some key combination 
> while using Firefox, after which any text I type into the search box, 
> Find box, or any web page input box comes out scrambled. It just 
> happened again, and when I type, for example, "asdfghjkl", it comes out 
> "aoeuidhtn" (no quotes, of course). "qwertyuiop" comes out 
> "',.pyfgcrl". 

It appears that your Windows keyboard layout has been switched
from QWERTY to Dvorak

> Alt- and Ctrl- key combo shortcuts are scrambled, too - 
> Ctrl+F brings up the View Source window as if I pressed Ctrl+U. All 
> goes back to normal if I close and restart Firefox. No other 
> applications are affected - if the typing is scrambled in Firefox, it 
> still acts normally in, say Notepad or Winword or Internet Explorer.

Windows keeps a separate keyboard layout setting for each running application.

The keyboard layout setting is connected to the Windows language setting.
Windows keeps a separate combination of language and keyboard layout, 
for each running application.  

So Windows can give one application English (US) + QWERTY keyboard,
another application English (US) + Dvorak keyboard, and a third
application English (UK) + QWERTY keyboard.

> This is using FF 3.69 on Windows Vista SP2. It happens most often on my 
> laptop, because my typing is least accurate on that keyboard, I guess. 
> I think it may happen occasionally on my full-sized desktop keyboard, 
> too. Seems to me this started happening in the past couple of months, 
> but maybe I just didn't pay attention to the behavior before.

1.  Windows can switch language + keyboard on certain keystrokes.

    Very occasionally I find mine has jumped into Chinese (Simplified) + MSPinYin
    in some application.

2.  The other thing I would suggest doing, is displaying the Language bar
    on the desktop so you can open it, see what keyboard is being used
    with the current program, and change the language or keyboard back.

I have not used Vista.  On Win7, the settings would be at

  Control Panel >> Region and Language >> Keyboards and Languages

Click the "Change Keyboards" button, and

(1)  Select the "Advanced Key Settings" and set all key sequences to "none".

(2)  Select the "Language Bar" tab and configure Windows to show the 
     language bar.  When the problem happens again, the Language Bar may 
     let you get out of the Dvorak keyboard layout and back to QWERTY.

> Does anyone know what's going on here? Am I accidentally turning on 
> some feature? Can I turn it off or recover from my mistake without 
> resorting to restarting FF? I really don't know what combination of 
> keys I'm hitting.