Lao Script for Windows

Lao Keyboard Layouts

Lao is normally entered using either a modified Lao-typewriter layout. However, users unfamiliar with that layout can alternatively use romanized input. See the Lao Script for Windows Help menu for how to use romanized input.

Two variations of the Lao typewriter keyboard layout are provided. Users are strongly recommended to use the Lao standard keyboard layout published by STEA of the Lao government in 2005. However, the convention used in earlier versions of Lao Script for Windows is still provided as an alternative. The two layouts are shown below, with the main differences circled.

Lao standard (STEA) layout

Original Lao Script for Windows layout

Entering Lao numerals

The Lao numerals can be entered (if they are contained in the font) by using the shift key Right Alt (sometimes labelled as Alt Gr). The two layout conventions for entering Lao numerals are slightly different, in that the STEA keyboard uses the keys normally used for numerals on the English keyboard, while the (old) LSWin layout uses the keys normally used for (Arabic) digits when typing Lao. For the (old) LSWin layout, the Kip currency symbol (Unicode character 20AD) can be entered by using Right Alt together with the left letter key in the bottom row ("Z" on the standard US layout).

Note that although a Unicode value has been reserved for the Kip currency symbol, there is no accepted standard for the shape of the symbol, and most Lao fonts do not include it.

Manual entry of (hidden) break characters

Pressing Shift-Space (with either layout) will insert the appropriate hidden break character for the current Lao-text input coding, in addition to or instead of the automatically inserted break characters. This can be especially useful with applications which do not permit automatic break insertion.