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Accents and Diacritics in Windows XP

A. Typing accents and non-English diacritics in Windows XP

  1. Log On
  2. Click the Start button
  3. Click on Control Panel
  4. Click Regional and Language Options – a new window will pop up
  5. Click the Languages tab
  6. Click on the Details button
  7. Click the Add button – a new window will pop up
  8. Select United States-International (keyboard layout menu)
  9. Click OK
  10. Click Apply

Read the instructions for “Using the U.S.-International Keyboard” below

NOTE: You will now have a keyboard icon on the taskbar (usually on the right side). To switch between keyboard layouts click the keyboard icon on the task bar and choose which layout you want to use. Changing the keyboard layout will only affect your user profile. No other users will be affected.

B. Using the U.S. – International Keyboard

If you followed the above directions carefully, your keyboard will now react slightly differently than it did before. First of all, notice that if you strike the single apostrophe (‘) key, nothing happens. To type the single apostrophe now, you must strike the single apostrophe key and then strike the space bar. When you strike the spacebar, the apostrophe will appear.

The next thing to note is that the quotes (“) key behaves the same way as the apostrophe key. You must first strike the quotes key and then strike the space bar in order to create the (“) symbol. These two minor inconveniences are more than made up for by the ease with which you can now type the special characters.

To type the special characters, two keystrokes are required. To type the á, you need only strike the apostrophe key and then the letter a. The other characters are just as easy:

á = ‘ + a

é = ‘ + e

í = ‘ + i

ó = ‘ + o

ú = ‘ + u

ñ = ~ + n

ü = ” + u

To type the special punctuation characters, you need to hold down on the Alt key while you strike the appropriate punctuation mark. On some keyboards, only one of the two Alt keys will work for this.

¡ = Alt (hold down) + !

¿ = Alt (hold down) + ?


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