Incorrect keyboard layout?

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After having installed and started DOSBox, it sometimes seems that the layout of the keyboard in DOSBox isn't corresponding with the actual keyboard in front of you. For example, when typing a colon (:), a plus-minus character (±) appears. That's not good. You can solve this by changing the keyboardlayout property in the dosbox.conf file:

  • Open the DOSBox configuration file:
    • Windows 7: Press CTRL + ESC (or the start button), type in dosbox and the options file should appear in the search results, click it
    • Windows 8: Press the Windows key + Q, type in dosbox and the options file should appear in the search results, click it
  • Scroll down to [dos]
  • Change keyboardlayout=auto to keyboardlayout=us
  • Restart DOSBox

Of course, you could have a keyboard with a layout other than US, or the language settings of Windows are configured in a particular way, in which case the rather standard US layout doesn't work for you. It could even happen that the function keys (F1 - F12) won't respond. It could be helpful to search for the correct keyboard layout.

  • If necessary, look for the layout of your keyboard on wikipedia
  • Look for the corresponding keyboard layout code in the DOSBox wiki
  • You can try the code in DOSBox (prior to updating the DOSBox configuration file) with keyb xx, where xx is the layout code (for example us or uk)
  • If it works, use the code with the keyboardlayout setting in the dosbox.conf file (as described above)
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