Phonetic Russian Keyboard for Windows

October 10, 2011


I often need to communicate with family in Russia, and while I know Russian well, I never quite learned the keyboard layout for all the different letters. Windows by default offers some Russian keyboard choices, such as regular and typewriter, all quite non-intuitive unless you are already used to them. Some time ago I had a physical keyboard with the Russian letters printed on it, but now it's gone. For a while I had to remember where all of the letters were, and it took frustratingly long to type a single word. To make the process easier, I designed a digital phonetic keyboard layout (each English letter corresponds roughly to the closest Russian equivalent by sound, so t=T, a=A, and so on) to use instead of the default Windows selection. This layout includes full English-keyboard functionality also (all numbers and symbols). The comma, period, and question mark keys work as regular, and the colon and quotation mark, as well as brackets and pipe keys can be accessed by holding down Ctrl. Pressing Ctrl with e or w will give you Ё and Щ respectively.

(EDIT: never mind, the Ctrl trick doesn't work with most applications. I'll post a new version soon to fix this).


Image of Keyboard with Russian characters

This is a visual of what characters the keyboard buttons will be mapped to with this layout.


Click here to download the zip file. It contains an installer that will automagically add this layout to the Windows language selection menu. Unzip the folder and run setup.exe