When I click Shift + Alt to change the language (Windows XP) it activates "File" menu what is I think quite unnecessary. When I have to write text in combination of two or more languages the language changing process is rather complicated, isn't it?
There are some windows applicatoins which don't behave like that, for example Mozilla Firefox and Google chrome...
By Default, Alt in Windows activates the menu bar, as stated. In my Firefox Alt+Shift does nothing, while Alt alone actives the menu bar. I have never heard of Alt+Shift being a shortcut for anything.
Alt + Shift is used by windows (language bar) to switch between keyboard mapping.
See Control Panel | Regional and Language Options | Languages | Details... | Settings | Key Settings...
Thanks. I did not know this!
But then I always turn off the language bar whenever I encounter it.
This is an annoyance because different applications (Microsoft products are among the worst offenders) behave differently, sometimes with the same application behaving differently in different contexts.
One workaround is to assign key a combination to each keyboard layout (e.g., ctrl-alt-1, ctrl-alt-2, etc.).
Heh. I've never noticed such behavior until now. With a couple of attempts, it happens only when...
...I pressed Shift first, then Alt, and released the Alt first. This does change the keyboard mapping, but leaves the menu bar activated.
So, you'd better acquire the habit to press Alt first, then Shift -- I couldn't manage to reproduce the bug that way. After all, that's how you normally activate mnemonics and other keyboard shortcuts, isn't it?
This behaviour is generic to all windows applicatoins: Alt enters the main menu. And that's just one of the reasons to use Ctrl+Shift to switch languages.
If you're a keyboard weirdo like myself, Ctrl+Shift sucks for the purpose. Quite a few applications use Ctrl+Shift+? as shortcut key. Starting from NP++ (and Visual Studio) -- Ctrl+Shift+F activates find in files, Ctrl+Shift+N activates Normal style in Word, etc. OTOH, Alt+Shift is really seldom used as a prefix key (except I suppose Emacs, but I don't use it).