Posts Tagged ‘foreign-language-character-input’

Overview of MS natural language support on Windows Vista+7/Office 2007, 2010

Snapshot summer 2012 in conjunction with our language center upgrade to Windows7 and Office 2010. Click here for larger version.

How to type accented characters with US International keyboard – the ultimate training summary….

…using animated GIFs. Slower? Click 025sec,0.5sec, 0.75sec, 1sec, 1.5sec, 2sec, 3sec, 4sec, 5sec, 6sec, 7sec, 8sec, 9sec, 10sec.


Or how do you like this one? us-international.

Problems with accented characters in Respondus Lockdown Browser

2012/09/11 2 comments

Update: Just click on the menu item “ A” under Respondus titlebar window to bring the floating accents window back. image Problem is only: this menu disappears now also. Anyhow: using below keyboard shortcuts is faster, and MS FixIT can now enable it for you on your home or office PC also.

Respondus Lockdown browser limits the use of modifier keys (e.g. on Windows CTRL, ALT). This prevents the use of certain traditional keyboard shortcuts for entering foreign language accented characters – including the method from times yore: ALT+number code.

Respondus Lockdown browser can work with a floating toolbar for accented characters. Unfortunately, reports are in that the floating toolbar disappears (may be related to a recent Respondus upgrade?).

Fortunately, Windows US-international keyboard – the default in the LRC – is not as much hampered by Respondus – except in t he few cases where US-international keyboard also relies on ALT- and CTRL-modifier: consult this table.

Press (, then release)

then press

Example Result

` (accent grave)

any letter that can have this accent, e.g. “a”, also cedilla ç




^ (caret)-


Character Input Methods for SLA (Western)

2012/09/04 1 comment

For studying (typing) Western Languages (= need for diacritics only; whether you have a US keyboard hardware or UK which is pretty similar), we recommend the MS Windows US International Keyboard layout  which is based on “dead keys”.

Currently installed in the LLC are the Language Bar (floating on top of screen or accessible from the taskbar) with these keyboard layouts:

Keyboard layout settings are application/window specific, and “US”  (non-international) is still the default for new applications/windows, so prepare to switch after you start a new application;

There are keyboard shortcuts for switching, however, “Key settings”: “switch between input languages” , using LEFT ALT + SHIFT, does not work. Workaround: use the language bar for switching:

Windows keyboard layout settings can be temperamental – if you find you cannot switch to a certain layout anymore, you may have to restart the computer.

Use the following keyboard shortcuts to enter diacritics more easily:

Press (together, then release)

then press

Example Result

` (accent grave)

any letter  that can have this accent, e.g. "a”, also cedilla ç




^ (caret)-


~ (tilde)


(double quotation marks)



Z or z



X or x



















To access the original, now dead keys, press space bar after pressing the dead key.


Note the new modifier = “dead” keys, indicated by light blue color (click to enlarge)







US International


Screencast of US International in action here: deadkeys.wmv

Interactive Demo of installation procedure (personal computers outside of the LLC) here: keyboard_usinternational.swf

Planned improvements:

  • Use LEFT ALT+Shift to switch to (Software) “Keyboard Layout” “United-States International”.
  • Use other keyboard short cuts to access a desired keyboard layout directly
  • Dock the “Language Bar” in the Taskbar, then hover over it  to make sure you selected the proper “Keyboard Layout”.


Another nice visualization of US-international keyboard layout is available thanks to (click picture for full size): us-international-keyboard-layout

Foreign Language Character Input on Windows 7 in the LRC

2012/08/16 1 comment
  1. The LRC, now on Windows 7, is testing  Carly J. Born’s U.S. International Extended 2.0 Keyboard, an improvement on the previously used US International Keyboard (still recommended for personal use, as it comes standard with all but ancient versions of Windows) for typing accented characters in Western languages, Pinyin-tone-marks for Mandarin (replacing the also useful, but more evolved Pinyinput), and other SLA tone- and length-marks e.g. for Latin.
  2. Not limited to specific application, you can use anywhere in Windows the following shortcut’s – taken from the original developer documentation (with some minor modifications).
  3. We hope you find the benefit for SLA far outweighs the need to getting used to typing a space between the 2 red characters and a vowel, in order to produce their regular form, without creating a foreign language character.

acute accent, pinyin 2nd tone

apostrophe (= ‘), vowel

(e.g. á é í ó ú)

grave accent, pinyin 4th tone

grave (= `), vowel

(e.g. à è ì ò ù)

c cedilla

comma apostrophe, c

(e.g. ç)

macron accent, pinyin 1st tone

hyphen, vowel

(e.g. ā ē ī ō ū )

vowel with umlaut

double-quote (= “), vowel

(e.g. ä ë ï ö ü ÿ)

vowel with circumflex

shift+6 (= ^), vowel

(e.g. â ê î ô û)

pinyin 3rd tone

Shift+5, vowel

(e.g. ǎ ě ǐǒǔ)

ü with pinyin tones

Accent, double-quote

(e.g. ǖǘǚǜ)

letter with tilde

tilde (= ~), letter

(e.g. õ ñ ã)

letter with dot below

shift+period, letter

(e.g. ạ ẹ Ẹ ị ọ ụ)

letter with double acute

shift+; , o or u

(e.g. ő, ű, Ő, Ű)


ctrl + alt + [


ctrl + alt + ]

ctrl + alt + 5


ctrl + alt + s/right-ALT + s


ctrl + alt + l

[won’t work in word, onenote, but works in excel]


ctrl + alt + /


ctrl + alt + 1

[To type ¡, disable the command called ApplyHeading1 in the Format category, in word or onenote, but not needed in excel]


Right alt + k

Farsi phonetic input using Behnevis

  1. (web form or downloadable Google Chrome browser toolbar) offers transliteration of phonetic input in Roman letters into Farsi and is said to be on a par with Google translate  (which offers no toolbar) and MS-UIME (which has no toolbar, but can be installed in your browser to alter any web page for users lacking a physical Farsi keyboard (or overlay).
  2. Behnevis- easy farsi transliteration (pinglish) editor

Keyboard overlay stickers improve foreign character writing support in the LRC

2011/06/17 1 comment

Some non-western, but character-based languages benefit from having keyboard overlay stickers installed. Here is a list of what the LRC has:

Amount Languages installed@
3 Arabic 1 list. station, 2 rightmost computers in the front row of the left (teacher perspective) half of the main classroom
2 Farsi 2 rightmost computers in the middle row of the left (teacher perspective) half of the main classroom
1 Greek 1 list. station
3 Russian 1 list. station, 2 rightmost computers of the rear row of the left (teacher perspective) half of the main classroom

Here are photos of the Arabic and Cyrillic keyboards:


We installed the stickers, so that they reflect the software layout of the keyboard that you get when choosing the respective language from the international toolbar. Note that the letters marked in red on the Cyrillic keyboard picture below are not supported by the Russian keyboard layout:


Since only one set can be added to any existing physical keyboard, the teacher computer keyboard can not have an overlay. The student computers with overlays are the listening stations and computers 6,7,12,13,18,19 on the LRC layout map.

Remember that the On-screen-keyboard software remains accessible at all PC’s through clicking “Start”, “Run”, typing “OSK”, clicking "OK".

Example where you can get your own keyboard overlay stickers

Foreign Language Character Input on Windows XP in the LRC

2011/04/14 1 comment

The LRC offers the following foreign language characters writing support:

American English us international not needed us-int
Arabic Google;MS;MS-maren;fontboard maybe later, now osk demo
British English us international not needed us-int
Dutch us international not needed us-int
Farsi Google;MS maybe later, now osk demo
French us international not needed us-int
German us international not needed us-int
Greek Google;MS maybe later, now osk demo
Italian us international not needed us-int
Japanese MS not needed
Korean MS maybe later, now osk demo
Mandarin MS;pinyinput not needed pinyin
Portuguese (Brazilian) us international not needed us-int
Russian Google;MS maybe later, now osk demo
Spanish us international not needed us-int

The support is best accessed from the “international toolbar”, like so: lrc-international-keyboards-cropped

You can also use the windows on-screen keyboard to input non-Western characters on a computer that has not the corresponding keyboard overlay stickers. In the small-group workspaces, which have writing pads, you can also use the MS-Handwriting IME for East-Asian languages.