A keyboard layout not only specifies the physical position of the keys on the keyboard but also determines the character values generated by pressing those keys. Each layout identifies the current input language and determines which character values are generated by which keys and key combinations.
Every keyboard layout has a corresponding handle that identifies the layout and language. The low word of the handle is a language identifier. The high word is a device handle, specifying the physical layout, or is zero, indicating a default physical layout. The user can associate any input language with a physical layout. For example, an English-speaking user who very occasionally works in French can set the input language of the keyboard to French without changing the physical layout of the keyboard. This means the user can enter text in French using the familiar English layout.