Easily type diacritics in Windows

One frustration with switching to Scrivener has been that I lost Word’s simple key-combinations for typing diacritical marks. That led me to declare that my next computer would be a Mac simply because they have system-wide support for typing special characters easily. Whatever may turn out to be the case on my computer purchasing choices, I have learned from the intrepid @benladen that you can easily set up Windows to have a similar capability — just set your keyboard to “U.S.-International” and the key-combinations are actually even easier than in Word for typical special characters. More details are available here.

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4 Responses to “Easily type diacritics in Windows”

  1. Adam Kotsko Says:

    For practical purposes, you should probably switch to the normal mode when you aren’t going to need special characters — this mode introduces some weird behaviors that it would probably be hard to get used to for general-purpose typing. It’s simple to set up keyboard shortcuts for switching, though. I have Ctrl+1 for normal, Ctrl+0 for international.

    Presumably the Mac approach is more elegant, etc.

  2. nydwracu Says:

    I got irritated with US-Intl and made a keyboard layout for myself a while back. It’s since been lost to laptop rot, but if you want to be able to both program or whatever and get special characters without having to switch layouts, Microsoft has a program to let you make your own: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/goglobal/bb964665.aspx

    Although it’s probably much more painless to just switch between.

  3. Ruth Marshall Says:

    Go Mac! I promise you won’t regret it. After a life of PCs, I finally lost my temper with Vista came out, and switched four years ago. Now I’m a proselytizing, born-again Mac user. :}

  4. Jason Hills Says:

    I second the “Go Mac,” especially for laptops due to the better build quality. I have a Windows power desktop and Mac Air. Since I do a notable amount of French philosophical translation, the ease of diacriticals is welcome. For those not familiar with it, when you press and hold a key, all the diacritical variations within that language group appear in a popup window, and you just select one. It was built into the OsX operating system awhile ago, so it works with most any program.


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