Foreign Language Input and Support
Typing foreign characters in Microsoft Word
You can type some foreign characters in MS Word without any special configuration. There are certain key combinations that signal your computer to use a character that isn't found on an English keyboard. These characters are actually pretty easy to enter in, once you learn the basic rule.
If you don't want to or don't know how to configure your keyboard to type in foreign characters directly, you can use this trick to enter in the characters in MS Word, and then copy and paste them into another program if needed.
The basic rule
- to create a é character, press + ; then release, and press .
(The é is like an E with a ' on top of it.)
- to create a ñ character, press + + ; then release, and press .
(The ñ is like an N with a ~ on top of it; notice that just as you have to hold SHIFT to type a ~ character normally, you have to hold + in order to create a "tildefied" special character.)
Many of these shortcuts work exactly the same on a Mac as on a PC; simply use the OPTION key instead of CTRL. The Mac shortcuts are slightly different; see this table from Carnegie Mellon or this table from WA State for the full Mac keystrokes list.
The full chart of key shortcuts:
|To produce...||First press...||Then press...|
|á, é, í, ó, ú||+||etc.|
|à, è, ì, ò, ù||+||etc.|
|ä, ë, ï, ö, ü||+ +||etc.|
|â, ê, î, ô, û||+ + ^ key||etc.|
|ñ, ã, õ||+ +||etc.|
|ç||+ < key|
|æ||+ + & key|
|œ||+ + & key|
|ø||+ ? key|
|ß||+ + & key|
|å||+ + @ key|
|¡||+ + + ! key|
|¿||+ + + ? key|
Using and configuring foreign language support in Windows XP
Using The Language Bar in Windows XP
Microsoft Windows XP offers support for virtually any language including Chinese, Japanese, Arabic and Russian. You can type in any of these languages using Microsoft Word and Input Method Editors (IME) available from Windows Text Services (see section below on how to configure language input on your computer). In many Middlebury College computer labs there is additional software installed that provides more text formatting options for some languages.
- Start Microsoft Word (or any other application you want to use).
- Select the language you want to type in from the Language Bar on the taskbar (see Configuring Your PC For Multilingual Support):
- Click the icon in the lower right corner of your screen. A pop-up menu will appear.
- Select your language from the pop-up menu. (some language options require you to right-click on the language icon (e.g. CH) and chose Adjust the Language band position.
- If you accidentally close the Language Bar, you can reopen it by right-clicking on an unused area on the taskbar and choosing Toolbars -> Language Bar.
Use the On-Screen Keyboard to find your way
Configuring Your PC For Multilingual Language Support
- Navigate to -> Settings -> Control Panel -> Regional and Language Options.
- From the Regional and Language Options window, click the Languages tab.
- Click . The Text Services and Input Language dialog box opens.
- In the Installed services section, click .
- On the Add Input Language dialog box, select the desired language from the Input language drop-down list. The Keyboard layout/IME drop-down list also changes. From the Keyboard layout/IME drop-down list, chose an appropriate keyboard/IME (Input Method Editors - see below).
- Click . This returns you to the Text Services and Input Languages dialog, where the language you selected is added to the Installed Services list.
- In the Preferences section, click on Language Bar. The Language Bar Settings dialog box opens.
- Click the checkbox next to Show the Language Bar on the desktop, and set any other options you find useful.
- Click . The Language Bar Settings window closes.
- Click on the Text Services and Input Languages dialog box.
- Click . The Language Bar will appear on the right side of your taskbar, displaying the English language icon (EN).
- Click . The Text Services and Input Languages window closes.
Windows XP Input Method Editors (IME)
Typing in many non-Latin-based languages requires learning how these characters are transliterated into English characters. Consult the instructors in your Language School for more detailed information. Here is a list of recommended keyboard layout/IME for Windows XP:
||Chinese (Simplified) - Microsoft Pinyin IME 3.0|
||Arabic (Saudi Arabia)
||Russian with install of transliterated keyboard see:|
||Microsoft IME Standard 2002|
Microsoft Natural Input 2002
Microsoft Office Proofing Tools
Typing Diacritics (accents) on the Macintosh (not just in Word)
Typing in international characters is the same for all Mac applications, including the operating system.
Typing Diacritics (accents) on the PC