If you need to enter information in Western European languages other than English, you will need to write special characters and diacritics. Some well-known examples: German umlauts (ü) and eszet or acute S (ß), cedil (ç) in French and Portuguese, tilde (ñ) in Spanish, accents (ó, à, ê) and ligatures (æ) in the whole. Here's a guide to help you customize the US keyboard layout to enter these additional characters quickly and easily in Windows.
Method 1 of 3: Using the Control Panel
Step 1. Go to Control Panel and click Regional and Language Options
Step 2. Click the Language tab and below Text services click "details"
A new window will open with a list of installed and available languages.
Step 3. If you want, remove the English US keyboard layout from the list
Highlight it in the list and click the Remove button. Alternatively, you can have multiple keyboards (input languages) at once. (For example, the configuration shown includes Greek and Dvorak keyboards). For multiple keyboards, you can choose the default keyboard of your choice. You can also define a keyboard shortcut to switch between selected keyboards.
Step 4. If you want to add another language, click the Add button
Step 5. Select the first language English (USA)
Click on the second one below it and find United States (International).
Step 6. Click OK and OK again and you have it
This is your keyboard now:
Step 7. To use this keyboard, note that it is similar, with a few minor differences
For example, when you press the [`] key (next to 1), it simply prints the backtick [`]. However, if you press the [`] key followed by a vowel (eg o), you get ò. Input
- [`] and [o] gives => ò
- ['] and [o] gives => ó
Step 8. Find more options by pressing the SHIFT key
- [~], [^], and ["] also work as accents.
- [~] and [o] gives => õ (~ (~ also used for Spanish ñ or Portuguese ã)
- [^] and [o] gives => ô
- ["] and [o] gives => ö
Step 9. Learn to use Alt-Gr
On this keyboard layout, Alt-Gr - takes the place of the alt = "Image" key on the right side. alt = "Image" is short for "alternative". Click it to get the following keyboard layout:
Alternative symbols include:
¡ ² ³ ¤ € ¼ ½ ‘’ ¥ ×
ä å é ® þ ü ú í ó ö ""
á ß ð ø æ © ñ µ ç ¿
Step 10. Optional
If you still want to create other Unicode characters like ţ, ş, ă, ą, ł, or ☏, ☼, ♂, etc. Install the free JLG Extended Keyboard Layout software, then repeat the steps above except: instead of choosing the US International keyboard layout, you choose the US keyboard (JLGv11). More than 1000 Unicode characters are exclusively intended for this level.
Method 2 of 3: Using the Symbol Table
Step 1. Go to the Start menu
If you are using Windows Vista, enter "charmap" in the search bar. If you are using an earlier version of Windows, click "Run" in the text box, enter "charmap". Press Enter
Step 2. A pop-up window ("Character Map" applet) appears with the font and font size listed, and a scrolling network of fields (each with one character) below
Scroll until you find the symbol you want. Click on the symbol. Press -C to copy, or double click on it to add it to the text box below the grid, and then press the "copy" button. Go to whatever program you were typing information in and press -V to paste
Step 3. When finished, close the Character Map window
Method 3 of 3: Using ALT Codes
Step 1. Most Western European characters are within the 256-character ANSI standard
In the Character Map (see above), if you click on an accented character such as é, you will see a code (in this example, "Alt + 0233")
Step 2. To directly enter this character
Make sure NumLock on your keyboard is enabled. Press and hold the left Alt key without releasing it until you type a four-digit code starting with "0". (In the case of é, this would be "0233".)
Step 3. If you frequently switch between languages, or only need a few accented characters, this may be the fastest way than replacing code pages
- These twisted, accented buttons are useful things, but remember, if you only want to enter ["], you have to press a space after it, so it does not combine with the next letter (for example," At "versus. Ät").
- If you are missing other keys, you will need to learn the Alt + code for the letter (s), or buy a foreign keyboard, or download Microsoft's Custom keyboard layout maker from the developer site. To use the Alt code, press and hold alt = "Image" while entering a number. For example Alt + 165 gives => ñ.
- If you want to enter information in a language that consists of all non-English characters, such as Greek or Russian, then it is better to install this keyboard and, if you want, select a key combination to switch between English and this other language.
- As you can see, this keyboard layout includes most of the letters used for Western European languages, including French, Spanish, German, Danish, Ancient English, Swedish, Portuguese, and more. You can also enter world currency symbols like euro (€), yen (¥), common world currency symbol (¤).
- Note that some of these characters can be replaced with other letters. "ß" can be replaced with ==> "ss", "ä" can be replaced with ==> "ae", "ë" can be replaced with ==> "ee", "ï" can be replaced with = => "ie", "ö" can be replaced with ==> "oe", "ü" can be replaced with ==> "ue", "ñ" can be replaced with ==> "nn", "č "can be replaced with ==>" ch "," š "can be replaced with ==>" sh ", and" ž "can be replaced with ==>" zh ". This usually only works when you are writing foreign words in English (e.g. Koenigsberg, East Prussia (in German: Königsberg) Corunna, Spain (in Spanish: La Coruña)), not when writing texts in a foreign language.
- Some languages still do not have very good software support. Asian languages (Chinese, Korean, etc.) and Indian languages usually require certain fonts to be installed.
- Right-to-left languages such as Hebrew and Arabic may display poorly in some cases, and may not “coexist” well on the same page or document as a left-to-right language.