Easy Spanish-language typing on a U.S.-type keyboard?
September 24, 2006 3:39 PM   Subscribe

Easy Spanish-language typing with a U.S. computer keyboard?

How can I make typing the common accent marks encountered in Spanish (properly considered extra letters, I suppose) quick and easy on my U.S.-format keyboard? I need to write quite a bit of Spanish and typing ALT+[Unicode string] (or however one does it on a Windows-based computer) seems terribly unpleasant and time-consuming.

A quick and dirty solution is preferable to an elaborate yet elegant one. Thanks!
posted by killdevil to Computers & Internet (9 answers total)
posted by evariste at 3:50 PM on September 24, 2006

What programs are you using this in? Many (including Word and Outlook) will respond to CTRL+', a for á, etc., and CTRL+SHIFT+~, n for ñ. Also works with capitals. (Where those instructions above are, hit CTRL and then the apostrophe, together, then let them both up and hit your desired vowel.)

You can also change the keyboard language settings, but I find this more annoying to do and remember.
posted by whatzit at 3:51 PM on September 24, 2006 [1 favorite]

This site lays it out to be quick and easy: http://www.studyspanish.com/accents/typing.htm
posted by educatedslacker at 3:51 PM on September 24, 2006

Oops.. forgot to link it: http://www.studyspanish.com/accents/typing.htm
posted by educatedslacker at 3:52 PM on September 24, 2006

Evariste, that is a quick and elegant solution, which is the very best kind. The best part is that AllChars is so flexible that it will probably come in handy for all sorts of purposes.

Thank you all for your suggestions!
posted by killdevil at 4:58 PM on September 24, 2006

I use whatzit's solution to type French characters and it stops being annoying after about two minutes, when my fingers aren't busy reaching all the way over to the CTRL key. The "change keyboard settings" option takes about two seconds.
posted by mdonley at 5:51 PM on September 24, 2006

Just a note: I used to use AllChars, but it wouldn't work with my Mozilla programs (Firefox and Thunderbird) at all, and some compatibility issue was actually making Thunderbird crash every time I ran it. (I'm on Windows XP)

I much prefer the international keyboard's solution for all the characters I type. Just hit CTRL+SHIFT to change to the international keyboard and then, to produce é, for example, you just hit ' + e in succession.

educatedslacker's website gives you all you need to know on how to set it up.
posted by anjamu at 10:57 PM on September 24, 2006 [1 favorite]

AllChars makes my Mozilla apps crash, too. Mostly they just close unexpectedly, but I just got a total blue screen (my very first ever under WinXP). Goodbye, AllChars.
posted by rxrfrx at 5:48 PM on September 26, 2006

Another program that's incompatible with AllChars is Paint.NET, FYI.
posted by evariste at 6:03 PM on September 26, 2006

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