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Typing foreign accents with laptop (office 2003)
Thread poster: Debora Villa
Debora Villa
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:16
English to Italian
+ ...
May 4, 2006

Hi everybody,

Having always used ALT + codes on my old Pc to type Italian accents, I am now stuggling with my laptop. I have tried all possibilities I could think of but I am unable to type any accent at all. If anyone could help I'd be very grateful.

TIA


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Albert Golub  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:16
English to French
have you tried May 4, 2006

Insert
Symbol
in Word?


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Katherine Mérignac  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 08:16
Member (2004)
French to English
Short-term solution? May 4, 2006

Hi Debora,

I'm sure there is a more practical solution, but I had the same problem placing accents on French capitals - my laptop wouldn't do it and I couldn't figure out if there was a way to make it do this. I ended up searching for a character I wanted to be able to type on the Web or in another document (ie. É), pasted it in Word, highlighted it and then went to Tools>AutoCorrectOptions>AutoCorrect and chose a combination of characters to use as a 'code' (/E in this instance). This means that whenever I now type /E I get a fantastic É!!

Like I say, not incredibly practical if you have loads to type, but a short-term solution!

K

[Edited at 2006-05-04 10:44]


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Natalie  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 08:16
Member (2002)
English to Russian
+ ...

MODERATOR
Hi Debora May 4, 2006

To the best of my knowledge typing any diacritics has nothing to od with the type of computer (desktop, laptop - it's all the same). Everything depends on the installed operation system and other software.

Not knowing anything about your laptop besides that you are working in Office 2003 I would suggest creating keyboard shortcuts which would make the life much easier.

In Word, do the following:
Insert > symbol > choose the symbol you need > keyboard shortcut > choose the shortcut > assign > OK

Repeat the procedure for all letters you need. Please note that this will work in Office only. Writing with diacritics in other programs depends on the components of languge support installed in the OS, OS default language etc.


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Anne Lee  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:16
Member (2003)
Dutch to English
+ ...
shortcuts under F depending on your laptop May 4, 2006

Most laptops have a built-in keyboard designed as 'overlay' keys. On my Toshiba laptop (Satellite A10), I can active the numeric keys positioned in the middle of my laptop between letters j and l by holding down Fn and F11. Once these keys are activated, I can hold down ALT + ASCII code to form the symbol, as usual. I then have to switch the Fn and F11 off again to revert to my usual keyboard.
There is rather a lot of hidden functionality in laptop keyboards, but you have to wade through the manual (which should be loaded onto your laptop, maybe under programmes/Toshiba console or whatever brand your laptop is). I agree it can be quicker to cut and paste symbols, or to build in shortcuts for the more common ones.


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Debora Villa
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:16
English to Italian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you May 4, 2006

Thank you all very much for your suggestions, I am embarassed to admit that I was not even aware of the Insert>symbol option of Word, how wonderful! All my letters are there!!!

Thank you all so much.

Debora


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Daniel Ehret  Identity Verified
Hungary
Local time: 08:16
French to Hungarian
+ ...
Ctrl & Alt & key for the accent, and then the letter May 4, 2006

Hi,

although I don't know which kind of accents you have in Italian, but what I'm doing with the French accents is the following:
Just hold down the Ctrl and the Alt key, and one other key (see below) for the accent, and then type the letter you want "below" the accent.
For example:
for the letter è, press Ctrl & Alt & 7, and then "e"
for the letter à, press Ctrl & Alt & 7, and then "a"
for the letter ê, press Ctrl & Alt & 3, and then "a"
and so on...

You should find the correspondent accents on the keyboard (at least on mine), at the right corner of the key in question.

I hope this helps, good luck!

Daniel


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writeaway  Identity Verified
French to English
+ ...
or buy a numeric keypad for portables May 4, 2006

If you buy a numeric keypad for portable computers, you'll then have the same system that you have on a desktop pc. It's what I intend to do if I ever get around to buy a portable.

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xxxtlmurray
Local time: 02:16
English
About the numeric keyboard May 4, 2006

All Alt codes must be entered with the numeric keypad. On a Windows-based laptop it's a pain, because (1) the numbers are embedded with the rest of the characters, and (2) once you turn on the numerics, other keys don't work.

I would indeed buy a separate keypad, as the previous poster suggested. The reason is that while the insert > Symbol works okay, the Alt codes are universal. (But note that their position, or number, is dependent on the position of the glyphs in the font. The good news is that for most roman fonts, they are located in the same position.)


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Thor Truelson  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 01:16
Swedish to English
+ ...
Change the language of the keyboard May 4, 2006

I work from both Swedish and Icelandic into English, and I often have to send emails in either of these languages. I just switch my keyboard layout from English to Swedish, or whatever. Inserting is a waste of time. The keyboard is nearly identical within the European languages, and it doesn't take very long to figure it out. You can do this through the language function on your computer. It works the same for laptops (which I use) and land-based machines.

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xxxMarc P  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:16
German to English
+ ...
ALT codes? Separate keypad? Insert symbol? Autocorrect???? May 5, 2006

Like Thor, I just change the language of the keyboard. A left mouse click on the little German flag in the status bar and the flag changes to the the red-white-green of Hungary, and the keyboard layout immediately becomes the Hungarian one. You can give yourself a fright if you forget to change it back and wonder why certain passwords suddenly don't work...

Another click, and it's the blue-yellow-red of the Romanian flag. Those are the only ones I've enabled, but with a right mouse click on the flag I can add others - 65 in all, from Albanian to Vietnamese.

I'm using Linux/KDE3, of course. But Windows isn't THAT far behind, surely.

Marc


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Daniel Ehret  Identity Verified
Hungary
Local time: 08:16
French to Hungarian
+ ...
Not that far May 5, 2006

MarcPrior wrote:

I'm using Linux/KDE3, of course. But Windows isn't THAT far behind, surely.


You're right, Windows isn't THAT far behind) Actually, you don't even have to click, you can shift the language by a key combination (Alt+Shift or so...).
The one reason I'm not using this solution is that the French and the Hungarian keyboard layout are VERY different, so it's just a pain in the ***. But if the keyboard layouts are pretty similar, then this is the easiest way, that's true!


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xxxMarc P  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:16
German to English
+ ...
Typing foreign accents with laptop (office 2003) May 5, 2006

Daniel Ehret wrote:

You're right, Windows isn't THAT far behind) Actually, you don't even have to click, you can shift the language by a key combination (Alt+Shift or so...).


Alt+Ctrl+K in Linux/KDE.

Marc


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juvera  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:16
English to Hungarian
+ ...
It works, but... can somebody help with zero? May 7, 2006

Daniel Ehret wrote:

You're right, Windows isn't THAT far behind) Actually, you don't even have to click, you can shift the language by a key combination (Alt+Shift or so...).
The one reason I'm not using this solution is that the French and the Hungarian keyboard layout are VERY different, so it's just a pain in the ***. But if the keyboard layouts are pretty similar, then this is the easiest way, that's true!


I use Alt+Shift all the time to change between English and Hungarian, and to overcome some of the problems of the keyboard difference, primarily with signs like = ! # etc, I stuck a quartered 8mm O sticker on the empty parts on the relevant keys on my English keyboard, marked with the alternative sign or letter. I used to do it with ö, ő, and ü, ű as well. The rest is fairly easy to remember. I renew them once in a while, when they get too dirty. (You have to do it when the keyboard is not active.) It is fiddly to do, because these "wedges" are tiny, but worth it.

But since I installed Wordfast, and set Hungarian to Unicode for that reason, I have to re-learn, that Y and Z do not change place. This is the lesser problem, after all, no change is good news, I shoul get used to it.

The bigger one is, that 0, (zero) used to be on the top left key, to the left of 1. and now it has been replaced by í. Totally useless, as I have it already to the left of z on the bottom line of the keyboard. But I lost zero alltogether.
Every time I have to type 0, I have to change back to English.
Has anybody any idea, where the wayward 0 may be lurking?


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Daniel Ehret  Identity Verified
Hungary
Local time: 08:16
French to Hungarian
+ ...
Keyboard layout May 7, 2006

juvera wrote:

The bigger one is, that 0, (zero) used to be on the top left key, to the left of 1. and now it has been replaced by í. Totally useless, as I have it already to the left of z on the bottom line of the keyboard. But I lost zero alltogether.
Every time I have to type 0, I have to change back to English.
Has anybody any idea, where the wayward 0 may be lurking?


Try to change the keyboard layout through the Control Panel. There are two keyboard layouts for Hungarian, the "simple" Hungarian layout, and a "Hungarian 101-key". I'm using the simple one (with Wordfast and everything working), and I have everything at its place. I tried the 101-layout right now, and it did mess it up, so that should be your problem. Good luck.


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