Typing international characters, or diacritical characters, using the standard qwerty keyboard can be a daunting task. We have assembled several tables which hopefully will be able to assist in this endeavor.
Generally inserting these characters is achieved by a combination of keys. For example hold down on the CTRL key and ~ (tilde) key while typing n to insert a “ñ”.
There are several methods of inserting diacritics into Windows documents. The table below describes the procedures for two common methods. Choose the one which best suits your needs.
Diacritics can be made in any windows application by using the “Alt + number” combination. Make sure “Num Lock“ is on and use the right-hand number keypad. This is a standard adopted by many in the past. Recently there have been some advances which have made inserting international characters into your document a bit more intuitive.
|Windows International Characters|
|International Character||Alt + Keypad Sequence||Character Sequence|
|à è ì ò ù À È Ì Ò Ù||0224, 0232, 0236, 0242, 0249 0192, 0200, 0204, 0210, 0217||CTRL + ` (grave accent) + the letter|
|á é í ó ú Á É Í Ó Ú||0225, 0233, 0237, 0243, 0250, 0253 0193, 0201, 0205, 0211, 0218, 0221||CTRL + ' (apostrophe) + the letter|
|â ê î ô û Â Ê Î Ô Û||0226, 0234, 0238, 0244, 0251 0194, 0202, 0206, 0212, 0219||CTRL + ^ (caret) + the letter|
|ã ñ õ Ã Ñ Õ||0227, 0241, 0245, 0195, 0209, 0213||CTRL + ~ (tilde) + the letter|
|ä ë ï ö ü ÿ Ä Ë Ï Ö Ü Ÿ||0228, 0235, 0239, 0246, 0252, 0255 0196, 0203, 0207, 0214, 0220, 0159||CTRL + ¨ (umlaut) + the letter|
|å Å||CTRL+ SHIFT + @ + a or A|
|æ Æ||CTRL + SHIFT + & + a or A|
|ç Ç||0231, 0199||CTRL + , (comma) + c or C|
|ð Ð||CTRL + ' (apostrophe) + d or D|
|ø Ø||CTRL + / (slash) + o or O|
|¿||0191||ALT + CTRL + SHIFT + ?|
|¡||0161||ALT + CTRL + SHIFT + !|
Inserting diacritical characters from the keyboard requires a two sequence key press. The first set of key presses uses the option key usually in combination with another character to specify the diacritic. The second key press designates the letter. For example to type “ñ” on a Macintosh first press and release the key combination OPTION + ~ (tilde). Then type the letter n.
The following table demonstrates how to insert other diacritics for Macintosh:
|Macintosh International Characters|
|International Character||First Type||Then Type|
|à è ì ò ù À È Ì Ò Ù||Option + ` (grave accent)||a e i o u A E I O U|
|á é í ó ú Á É Í Ó Ú||Option + e||a e i o u A E I O U|
|â ê î ô û Â Ê Î Ô Û||Option + i||a e i o u A E I O U|
|ã ñ õ Ã Ñ Õ||Option + n||a n o A N O|
|ä ë ï ö ü ÿ Ä Ë Ï Ö Ü Ÿ||Option + u||a e i o u y A E I O U Y|
|å Å||Option + a, or A|
|æ Æ||Option + ' (apostrophe), or " (quotation mark)|
|ç Ç||Option + c, or C|
|ð||Option + d|
|ø Ø||Option + o, or O|
|¿||Option + ?|
|¡||Option + !|
Since the introduction of OSX, Macintosh users can use the "Character Palette" to input any unicode character. Select the character palette from the International Menu in the menu bar. Choose view "Roman." Then select "Accented Latin" to select a variety of accented characters.
Inserting diacritical characters into a web document requires either setting the language encoding of the document to the desired character set, or the use of an HTML reference code.
To set the language of a page to a specific character encoding insert a meta tag similar to the one below for Unicode text into the head of the HTML document.
<META content="text/html; charset=UTF-8" http-equiv=Content-Type>
Unicode encoding can be used for all languages. Both Windows XP and MacOSX will correctly display pages encoded in this format.
If only a few characters are needed you may get the best results by entering the HTML character reference code. Reference codes use a common syntax. The code is a decimal number or a reference word which is preceded by an ampersand character (&) and is terminated by a semicolon. See the University of Toronto's Introduction to HTML site for a more detailed description of character references.
The code for common international characters is listed in the table below:
|HTML Character Reference Codes|
|International Character||Reference Code|
|à è ì ò ù À È Ì Ò Ù||à è ì ò ù À È Ì Ò Ù|
|á é í ó ú Á É Í Ó Ú||á é í ó ú Á É Í Ó Ú|
|â ê î ô û Â Ê Î Ô Û||â ê î ô û Â Ê Î Ô Û|
|ã ñ õ Ã Ñ Õ||ã ñ õ Ã Ñ Õ|
|ä ë ï ö ü ÿ Ä Ë Ï Ö Ü Ÿ||ä ë ï ö ü ÿ Ä Ë Ï Ö Ü &Yuml|
|å Å||å Å|
|æ Æ||æ Æ|
|ç Ç||ç Ç|
|ð Ð||ð Ð|
|ø Ø||ø Ø|
For a more complete listing of character and entity references see the Lycos WebMonkey site.
|Take the Language Lab Home! Students and faculty at CSULB can now download and use Sanako Media Assistant Lite on their PC's at home. You can get registration and serial number information from your language teacher, or from the Language Lab. Sanako Media Assistant is a media player which has been designed specifically for the independent study of foreign languages. This player can play all types of media files including Real Media, Microsoft Windows Media, Apple Quicktime, wav, mpg, mp3, and other common media formats. SinceMedia Assistant was designed specifically for language learners it gives users increased control over media files. Using Media Assistant you can do all the things you would normally use a media player for and you can record your own voice while listening to a recording of a native speaker, and repeat the last phrase with the touch of a button. You can also record files to submit to your instructor in mp3 or wav formats. Visit the Sanako website or the Language Lab in LAB-306 for more information about Sanako Media Assistant, and other Sanako products used in the language labs on campus.|