Tag Archives: keyboards

The Multilingual Keyboard

multilingualI was once reading “Diacritical Issues for Multilingual Searching” – yes, I read things with titles like that – by Susanne Bjorner. Actually, by Susanne Bjørner. It appeared back in the January 2008 issue of Searcher magazine. It goes on about whether you miss information when you fail to use those diacritical marks over letters (using the n instead of the ñ, for instance) when you search. For the most part, the answer is no, since most databases will translate the ñ as an n.

Still, if one is writing a lot in a different language one could change the keyboard, by opening regional and language options, click on language tabs, under installed… Wait a minute, I only want to use those diacritical letters occasionally, to write someone’s name properly. Well, for that, Bjørner came up with this nifty cheat sheet. It involves using the Alt key and numeric keypad to the right of the QWERTY keyboard. Hold the Alt key, type in the four numbers, then release. Thus:

Alt 0193 Á
Alt 0225 á

Alt 0197 Å
Alt 0229 å

Alt 0198 Æ
Alt 0230 æ

Alt 0201 É
Alt 0233 é

Alt 0235 ë

Alt 0205 Í
Alt 0237 í

Alt 0211 Ó
Alt 0243 ó

Alt 0214 Ö
Alt 0246 ö

Alt 0216 Ø
Alt 0248 ø

Alt 0218 Ú
Alt 0250 ú

Alt 0220 Ü
Alt 0252 ü

Alt 0209 Ñ
Alt 0241 ñ

At home, I found I had to have my Num Lock on, but not at work.

But here’s an issue: your laptop may not HAVE a numerical keypad. So, you’ll need to create a Word file with the cheat sheet on your standard computer, save it to the laptop, then copy and paste. Still, if you prefer writing María to Maria – if that’s the way she spells her name – this is a lovely way to create linguistically more accurate names.