Parallels Desktop and Multiple Keyboard Layouts

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It seems like not a month goes by where I don't get steamrolled by an app feature that makes sweeping assumptions about my particular system configuration. This month was no different. 

If you use Parallels Desktop to run Windows on your Mac, and also have multiple keyboard layouts, Parallels has an undocumented "feature" that will stomp on your Mac input method whenever you switch focus to a Windows application.

The issue is Parallels' assumption that Windows/Mac input methods are exactly equal, and therefore it would make sense to switch input methods whenever switching between Windows/Mac apps. Of course, they aren't equal, and the end result is that Parallels switches my Mac to the lowest-common denominator version on Windows.

In this particular case, when I switch to Windows, Parallels forces my input method away from Kotoeri (Apple's Japanese IME) to the standard "U.S." layout. This causes me to lose functionality upon switching back to a Mac window, like double-pressing the Eisu key to get instant Romaji conversion, but most importantly, I don't even use the U.S. layout in OS X. 

I use Dvorak, and the U.S. layout is there for if/when someone needs to type on my laptop. This might sound like a pretty rare setup(and I guess it is), but similar issues will be encountered for anyone with a unique IME, be it Dubulsik, Pinyin, raw Unicode input, etc etc etc. 

True to form, the undocumented, assumptive feature is not able to be turned off without diving into the .pvm file and editing config.pvs with a text editor, and setting KeyboardLayoutSync to 0. 

Moral of the story: Features that assume too much about a system configuration will end in frustration, and it's an extra slap in the face to have those features hidden, when the relevant settings page is so spartan.

Parallels Coherence Options

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