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I don't know why my shift key (both left and right) is set as shortcut key to change input language in Ubuntu. When I hit the shift key (shift key only, not shift+some other key), the input language will change. It is very annoying because when you type English frequently you need to hold the shift key to type capital letters, and very often by a small mismatch in timing of holding the key, the input language is changed and I need to change it back. How can I disable this shortcut of the single shift key?

Edit: I've checked the system text entry setting, and the "switch to next source" short-cut setting is "Super+Space". The "Switch to previous source" short-cut is set to be "shift+Super+Space". I don't know why I can switch language by hitting the shift key only.

  • Do you have any Custom Shortcuts in System Settings -> Keyboard -> Shortcuts? – Gunnar Hjalmarsson Mar 28 '15 at 16:17
  • @Gunnar Hjalmarsson Yes, I've also checked that. There are other short-cut keys. A few of them involve the shift key, but all in the form shift + some other keys. There is no short-cut setting of only the shift key. – velut luna Mar 29 '15 at 2:52
  • Weird. I'm out of ideas. – Gunnar Hjalmarsson Mar 29 '15 at 3:28
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Seems to be a bug. I'll explain how to get out of it... as long as you have both US and INTL (US International) input methods available, but first...

Here's how I found it... (CAUTION: DON'T DO THIS IF YOU ARE NOT WILLING TO BE ANNOYED) First, go to US keyboard entry method, while having INTL also available. Now, hold the right Alt key, and press the shift key (tested with left-shift). Now, you are in US-International mode, and the right Alt key you are holding down, is no longer an alt key.... so when you release it, the system gets an AltGR released signal, rather than an Alt key being released. Now if you press and release Shift, it will cycle input methods.

Okay, now... to get out of that annoying mode, select INTL input method. Hold Alt-GR (Right Alt) and press Space as many times as it takes to select US input method. Then release the Right-Alt key (Alt-Gr). Note: This MAY HAVE OTHER SIDE EFFECTS, since the system didn't get any signal that Alt-Gr was released. I haven't noted any such side-effects, but that doesn't mean there aren't any.

To anyone who might try to fix this bug: While you're at it, please make Ctrl-Space do something more useful, such as cycling input methods in reverse, or switching to the last input method that some key was pressed in other than Shift, Alt, and Ctrl. As it is right now, with more than 3 keyboard layouts, there is NO QUICK WAY to switch back and forth between an arbitrarily chosen pair of available input methods. I'm using multiple input methods for DuoLingo, and it's a pain to have to press Alt-Shift Alt-Shift Alt-Shift Alt-Shift Alt-Shift to switch languages, and then Alt-Shift Alt-Shift Alt-Shift Alt-Shift Alt-Shift Alt-Shift Alt-Shift Alt-Shift to switch back, as I am asked to translate to and from a course's target language.

(If anyone doubts it's that bad, look at how many language courses I'm taking. Username DonaldKron --- and what it shows as the courses I'm taking, is actually not all of them.)

  • Okay, yes.... there is a side-effect. Not sure the details yes, but clicking in my Chrome address bar and pressing Enter (to reload the page) is now causing a new tab to be opened at the same address instead. (I'm guessing this is what AltGr+Enter usually does in Chrome. Never tried it.) Anyway... gonna reboot now. :( – Donald Kronos Aug 17 '15 at 2:11

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