Help an accent-deprived thesis writer do her thing.
May 9, 2006 4:42 PM   Subscribe

I am looking for word processing software that will do very specific accented-character-related tasks.

I've been using MS Word to type in Spanish/Portuguese for as long as I can remember, and I quite like using the shortcuts Word uses for accented characters (for example, Ctrl + Shift + ~ followed by n produces ñ).

However, last week, my not-so-trusty old Toshiba pooped out on me. Having just bought a new computer, I don't have much of a budget for expensive new office software.

Are there any freeware or open-source word processors that will let me use these shortcuts or enter my own? I tried OpenOffice, but macros are cumbersome and frankly a bit over my head. Any other suggestions?
posted by anjamu to Computers & Internet (5 answers total)
It's a huge change, but that's how accented characters are input in Linux using the "compose key" or "multi_key". compose ~ n gets ñ, compose "- gets ü, compose - L gets £, compose s s gets ß, compose - : gets ÷, and so on.

In Windows, the approximation to that is the "international keyboard" -- switch to that, and a bunch of punctuation turns into dead keys, so ~n gets you ñ. When you're done, switch back to US English. Instructions here.
posted by mendel at 4:53 PM on May 9, 2006

Best answer: Use AllChars. Google it. It's exactly what you're asking for.
posted by evariste at 5:07 PM on May 9, 2006

Response by poster: Thank you both, that was quick!

AllChars was exactly what I was looking for.
posted by anjamu at 5:15 PM on May 9, 2006

Allow me to suggest LaTeX. Yes, the learning curve is steep but it is a professional typesetting system and what most books and academic papers are made with. It does any accenting you could hope for.
posted by polyglot at 5:40 AM on May 10, 2006

So were you using a stolen copy of Word, or can you somehow recover it from the OEM CD that came with your old laptop?
posted by Gungho at 5:42 AM on May 10, 2006

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