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How can I type foreign characters?

For Apple computers with keyboard:
   - For stress marks, use the OPTION key + e and then the vowel
   - For the dieresis, use the OPTION key + u and then the vowel
   - For "ñ" use the OPTION key + n and then "n"
   - For "¡" use Shift + Option + 1
   - For "¿" use Shift + Option + ?
   - etc.

For iPad/iPhone/Apple laptops with touchscreen:
   - For stress marks, etc., press and hold the particular key (a e i o u n ! ?) to allow for the key options to appear and then without lifting your finger slide it to select the desired character. (Hold the World Icon next to the keyboard icon in order to select different languages.)

For Windows 10, do the following to install the US International keyboard as a "permanent" solution on your computer. (For temporary fix, see ASCII option.)
After completing the steps below you will have four "dead" keys -- the apostrophe key, the shift-6 key, the tilde key, and the right-alt key. To type an "á" you press the apostrophe key and then the "a" key. Experiment to learn the other key strokes. Use the right ALT key for the Spanish upside-down "?" and "!", the German "æ" (z key), and the French "ç" (comma key). If you want the actual character on a "dead" key, press the key and then the space bar or another key that would not normally take an accent/tilde.)


Flag Click on the START FLAG then SEARCH then type "Lang" and choose "Language Settings".

English keyboard Click on the "English (United States)" section in settings and on "Options". Then under KEYBOARDS click on "Add a keyboard", then choose the "QWERTY US International" option, then click on the US keyboard and remove it. Now go back and read the paragraph above so that you know how to use this new keyboard.

For Windows 8/8.1, do the following to install the US International keyboard. (Follow the same usage guidelines as outlined in the Windows 10 section.)

  1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, tap Settings, and then tap Change PC settings.
    (If you're using a mouse, point to the lower-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer up, click Settings, and then click Change PC settings.)

  2. Tap or click Time and language, and then tap or click Region and language.

  3. Locate and then tap or click English (United States), and then tap or click Options.

  4. Tap or click Add a keyboard, browse the input method list, select US International Keyboard, and then tap or click it.

For Chromebooks, do the following to install the US International keyboard.
(Note: After completing the steps below you need to make sure that you select the US International keyboard

Set your keyboard languages

  1. At the bottom right, select the time.
  2. Select Settings .
  3. On the left panel, select Advanced and then Languages and inputs.
  4. Under "Languages and inputs," select Inputs.
  5. Under "Input methods," select Add input methods.
  6. Select the "US international keyboard" and then Add.
  7. "Enabled" is listed under the current keyboard.
  8. To set a different keyboard language, use your cursor to point to and select another keyboard.



ASCII Method - Works on (nearly) any PC in any program

If you are using a public computer and need to type foreign characters, enter the ASCII codes for special characters.

Depress and hold down the left ALT key while you type in the three-digit number listed below, using the numeric keypad on the right side of your keyboard, and not the number keys on the top row, then release the ALT key.

128 - Ç 
129 - ü
130 - é
131 - â
132 - ä
133 - à
135 - ç
136 - ê
137 - ë
138 - è
139 - ï
140 - î

141 - ì
142 - Ä
143 - Å
144 - É
145 - æ
146 - Æ
147 - ô
148 - ö
149 - ò
150 - û
151 - ù
152 - ÿ
153 - Ö
154 - Ü
160 - á
161 - í
162 - ó
163 - ú
164 - ñ
165 - Ñ
168 - ¿
173 - ¡
174 - «
225 - ß

Note: You must first click on this page before attempting to print this page.

Comments to: despain@ncsu.edu