October 12, 2009 3:52 AM   Subscribe

How do you program foreign (namely the Turkish ones - ı, ş, and ğ) characters into a laptop keyboard....?

I currently have my laptop keyboard set to United States-International, which allows me to type, for example:

: + o for ö
' + a for á
Ctrl + Alt + W for å

It seems however, that the Turkish characters ı, ş, and ğ (and their capital equivalents) are not programmed into this keyboard layout as standard. Does anyone know of the key combination for them, or any other alternative for programming these characters into similar keyboard shortcuts? Would be happy for a solution that required installing supplementary software, but before anyone suggests, installing the Turkish keyboard is out of the question.
posted by ryanbryan to Computers & Internet (16 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
If you're unwilling to change your keyboard to the Turkish version, the next best option (that I know of) is to change the settings in Word (Insert > Symbol > click on the character you want > Shortcut Key > set to something you'll remember). Unfortunately, this doesn't transfer between programmes, so it will just make your Turkish typing in Word faster.
posted by brambory at 4:49 AM on October 12, 2009

If you're using Vista (or XP, I think) this is quite easy.

Download a keyboard editor and modify your current keyboard file so that you have them available as (for example ctrl-shift-s) whatever you want. You'll need to know the unicode for those characters.
posted by atrazine at 4:57 AM on October 12, 2009

Best answer: Microsoft's Keyboard layout editor.

Download that, fire it up (you'll need the .net framework for it run) and run the automated setup (which will find all your keyboard layout files)

The unicode keypoints you need are from this codepage which was specifically designed for Turkish. You are most likely trying to use the ISO/IEC_8859-1 codepage which is indeed missing those three Turkish characters.
posted by atrazine at 5:15 AM on October 12, 2009 [1 favorite]

In recent Windows, this lives under Control Panel > Regional and Language Options. Install a Turkish keyboard layout and switch it on and off as necessary. I believe the Turkish Q layout illustrated further down on this page should show you where the characters are.

No need to do any special key assignments, you're better off using a standard layout.
posted by gimonca at 5:52 AM on October 12, 2009

Or on this page
posted by gimonca at 5:53 AM on October 12, 2009

You need to clarify why you can't use the correct method and change the keyboard layout to Turkish.

Probably the easiest workabout is just to use the Alt codes:

İ ALT+0304
ı ALT+0305
Ğ ALT+0286
ğ ALT+0287
Ş ALT+0350
ş ALT+0351
posted by turkeyphant at 6:47 AM on October 12, 2009 [1 favorite]

An ı is alt-shit-b under Mac OS X, but I don't see ş or ğ there, nor the capitals.
posted by jeffburdges at 7:29 AM on October 12, 2009

And in Mac OS X, you can always grab them from the character palette, if for some reason character mapping doesn't work for you. (Click on the little flag in the bar at the top of the screen to access it.)
posted by ocherdraco at 7:37 AM on October 12, 2009

You need to clarify why you can't use the correct method and change the keyboard layout to Turkish.

Indeed, back in the day, this might be explained by something like "I'm on Windows 95 and I don't have my install media". If you can't change keyboard layouts (which is pretty basic) one could assume that you can't or don't have access to do things that are more involved.
posted by gimonca at 7:47 AM on October 12, 2009

Incidentally, the reason that those three characters are harder to get is that they don't appear on the standard ISO 8859-1 codepage. All the other characters used in Turkish do.
The ISO 8859-9 codepage (aka Latin-5) is designed for Turkish and does contain them.

Personally, I would use windows' keyboard switching bar to switch back and forth between a US101 layout and a Turkish one. However the OP doesn't want to do this, given that: I would recommend that he maps these three characters to modifier+letter keys on their current keyboard layout.
posted by atrazine at 7:58 AM on October 12, 2009

jeffburdges: "An ı is alt-shit-b under Mac OS X, but I don't see ş or ğ there, nor the capitals."

I assumed the OP was using Windows due to the mention of Ctrl and Alt but the OS X codes are simple too:

İ Option+W,Shift+I
Ğ Option+V,Shift+G
ğ Option+V,g
Ş Option+C,Shift+S
ş Options+C,S
posted by turkeyphant at 8:12 AM on October 12, 2009

I don't get those letter from those keystrokes under OS X with a U.S. keyboard layout. Are you using a U.K. keyboard?
posted by jeffburdges at 9:29 AM on October 12, 2009

Ahh, yes, you must switch your keyboard to U.S. extended (unicode) first.
posted by jeffburdges at 9:30 AM on October 12, 2009

Response by poster: The kind of solution I was looking for was solved by the keyboard editor. For what it's worth, the reason why I didn't want to change my keyboard layout to Turkish is because it's too much to remember another keyboard layout. Thanks for all the suggestions though...!
posted by ryanbryan at 1:09 AM on October 13, 2009

Indeed, the normal, standard answer is 'change your keyboard layout'. On Windows, it's a relatively easy series of mouse clicks and you're done with setup. Switch into and out of keyboard layouts whenever you like.

Also easy on Linux desktop environments, for that matter...
posted by gimonca at 1:12 PM on October 15, 2009

Mod note: few comments removed - if you can't answer this without making fun of all the users of a given OS please just email the OP and don't comment, thanks
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:14 AM on October 18, 2009

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