Removing the annoying Windows language hotkeys “Ctrl+Space”, “Shift+Space” etc. that toggles the full-width/half-width characters on the Chinese IME

There is a bug in Windows that prevents switching the hotkey of some of the language bar features (documented here).  The user is unable to change any of the hotkeys in the Advanced Key Settings page.  Some of the changed hotkeys revert to what they were before when the user tries to apply the changes.  Two keys in particular, the “Ctrl+Space” and the “Shift+Space” key combinations are the most annoying.

These two keys toggle the full-width (double-byte), and the half-width (single-byte”) character sets when typing with the Chinese IME.  Full-width characters look like “this “ while half-width is what people are normally used to.  The default key combinations are easy to press by accident in situations such as capitalizing a title.  Therefore, it is beneficial to remove this hotkey.

Solution

Because changing the key settings manually through Windows does not work, one must go through the registry.  The following fix applies to the current user that is logged in.  Apply the following registry keys and then restart the computer.

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Input Method\Hot Keys]

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Input Method\Hot Keys\00000010]
"Virtual Key"=hex:ff,00,00,00
"Key Modifiers"=hex:00,c0,00,00
"Target IME"=hex:00,00,00,00

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Input Method\Hot Keys\00000011]
"Virtual Key"=hex:ff,00,00,00
"Key Modifiers"=hex:00,c0,00,00
"Target IME"=hex:00,00,00,00

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Input Method\Hot Keys\00000012]
"Virtual Key"=hex:ff,00,00,00
"Key Modifiers"=hex:00,c0,00,00
"Target IME"=hex:00,00,00,00

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Input Method\Hot Keys\00000070]
"Virtual Key"=hex:ff,00,00,00
"Key Modifiers"=hex:00,c0,00,00
"Target IME"=hex:00,00,00,00

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Input Method\Hot Keys\00000071]
"Virtual Key"=hex:ff,00,00,00
"Key Modifiers"=hex:00,c0,00,00
"Target IME"=hex:00,00,00,00

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Input Method\Hot Keys\00000072]
"Virtual Key"=hex:ff,00,00,00
"Key Modifiers"=hex:00,c0,00,00
"Target IME"=hex:00,00,00,00

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Input Method\Hot Keys\00000201]
"Virtual Key"=hex:ff,00,00,00
"Key Modifiers"=hex:00,c0,00,00
"Target IME"=hex:00,00,00,00

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Input Method\Hot Keys\00000202]
"Virtual Key"=hex:ff,00,00,00
"Key Modifiers"=hex:00,c0,00,00
"Target IME"=hex:00,00,00,00

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Input Method\Hot Keys\00000203]
"Virtual Key"=hex:ff,00,00,00
"Key Modifiers"=hex:00,c0,00,00
"Target IME"=hex:00,00,00,00

In the registry, one can also navigate to “HKEY_CURRENT_USERControl PanelInput MethodHot Keys” and see a list of folders with names that have eight numbers in them with leading zeroes.  Each folder here represents a particular hotkey related to an IME.  Clicking on one of these folders will show data for these keys.

Setting “Key Modifiers” to “00 c0 00 00” removes the use of the Ctrl and Alt key for the hotkey.
Setting “Virtual Key” to “ff 00 00 00” sets the key to nothing.
The key “Target IME” can be left as is.

In the case of the “Shift+Space” hotkey, “Shift” is the key modifier and “Space” is the virtual key.

It is unclear which folder corresponds to the key that toggles the character shape, therefore this fix is a blanket approach.

If the Above Still Fails

Try combining the fix with an installation of Microsoft Office IME 2010, which can be downloaded here: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/zh-tw/details.aspx?FamilyID=60984ecd-9575-411a-bd38-2294f17c4131&displaylang=zh-tw.  Despite the name, it does not require Microsoft Office to be installed. After installing, apply the registry keys and restart.

2 Comments

  1. I stumbled upon this after noticing the same issue. Rather than editing the registry, I’ve remapped Shift+Space in AHK to Space, nullifying the shortcut (globally)

    http://www.autohotkey.com/community/viewtopic.php?t=12331

    • I also read about using AHK, but I did not want to keep another program running all the time in order to keep the key combination remapped. AHK definitely is a simpler solution though. What also occurred to me just now though is that this program could actually get rid of all annoying hotkeys in general and not just those specific with windows. Definitely way more powerful.

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