The "Option" key allows the easy creation of most foreign letters on a standard English-language Apple Mac keyboard, and the "Key Caps" feature makes it easy to see which keys produce which foreign symbols.). After you get past the easy ones (option + u + a = ä), how do you discover the others? keyboard, the Windows language selector enables your regular English keyboard to "speak" another language—quite a few in fact. Shift + click a button to insert its upper-case form. In Windows, by changing the "Keyboard Properties" via the Control Panel, you can add various foreign-language keyboards/character sets to your standard American English "QWERTY" layout. Now let's look at a more permanent, more elegant way to get special characters in Windows 95/98/ME. The Character Palette will appear. On a Mac: For the casual German learner. Then select "Accessories" and finally "Character Map." On a Mac: For the advanced daily German writer When the Key Caps window is visible, press the "option/alt" key to see the special characters it produces. In Mac OS X you can use the Character Palette. But you need to know the keystroke combination that will get you each special character. It not only shows the codes and letters, but also how they appear in various font styles. TIP 2: If you plan to use this method often, print out a copy of the Alt-code chart and stick it on your monitor for easy reference. Hyde Flippo taught the German language for 28 years at high school and college levels and published several books on the German language and culture. (Note: The characters will vary with different font styles. With "DE" selected, your keyboard is now "QWERZ" rather than "QWERTY." (See our Alt-code chart for German below.) Here's the step-by-step procedure for Windows 95/98/ME: If everything has gone right, in the lower right corner of your Windows screen (where the time appears) you will see a square marked "EN" for English or "DE" for Deutsch (or "SP" for Spanish, "FR" for French, etc.). You can opt-out at any time. Both PC and Mac users sooner or later confront this problem: How do I get ö, Ä, é, or ß out of my English-language keyboard? In Word, you can also type German characters using the Ctrl key, similar to the way the Mac uses the Option key. I was really annoyed by using Duolingo's special umlaut buttons, felt like it was taking too much time out of each "practice exercise". This X-like symbol may be thought of as an "extra" dead key or "extra" accent type, used to access "miscellaneous" letters that do not have a specific accent type like diaeresis or circumflex. These codes work with most fonts. TIP 1: It is also possible to create macros or keyboard shortcuts in MS Word™ and other word processors that will do the above automatically. In Word, you can also type German characters using the Ctrl key, similar to the way the Mac uses the Option key. ), Click on "Start," select "Settings," and then "Control Panel.". That’s all! There are three main ways of making your computer bilingual or multilingual: (1) the Windows keyboard language option, (2) the macro or "Alt+" option, and (3) software options. (Mac users don't have this problem. On UK or European keyboards, hold down the Option key (also known as the ALT key) and press the number 2 key. At the top of the open "Keyboard Properties" panel, click on the "Language" tab. Click the "Add Language" button and scroll to the German variation you want to use: German (Austrian), German (Swiss), German (Standard), etc. Reader Tip 1: "If you want to keep the US keyboard layout in Windows, i.e., not switch to the German keyboard with all its y=z, @=", etc. But how do you know which "option +" combination will produce which letter? For example, to add the acute accent to the letter O, hold down Option + E, release those keys, then type the letter O. To learn the codes, use our Alt-code Chart for German below or... First, click on the Windows "Start" button (lower left) and select "Programs."