Posts Tagged ‘us-international’

How to add US International keyboard layout in Windows 8

2014/08/22 2 comments

How things have changed in Windows 8:


However, if you remember Windows 3.1, plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

Dead key behavior could be more intuitive in MS US-International keyboard layout…

…from a good source on writing international characters on the MS platform. After having to explain around dead key behavior hundreds of times, I’d definitely sign the proposed petition to make it more intuitive (= temporarily revive the dead, show something!). The suggestion in the comments to move more languages to full-blown IME’s seems also interesting.

If you won’t use US-International keyboard layout to type diacritics on Windows, 48 61 70 70 79 42 69 72 74 68 64 61 79…

… , that is to say (decode): Happy Birthday. You are 60 years old. For with ALT+NUM code, you essentially use ASCII (ok, to be more precise: High ASCII), a mapping of human language characters to computer binary numbers that was  invented on June 17, 1963.

You can continue for another 5 years. Or if you don’t mean to be hard on your brain: Friends don’t let friends bypass US-International keyboard layout.

You can get the LRC’s keyboard shortcuts to write foreign language characters automatically installed on your home or office PC …

..if you click on Microsoft’s FixIt here: (’nuff said elsewhere about US International keyboard layout) . Our British Friends seem to still type French, German, and Spanish accents the old tedious way. Maybe they find it too difficult to install the MS UK-International keyboard layout which takes care of most accents in all languages that use a Roman alphabet. I wish I could recommend them also a Microsoft FixIt installer which automatically enables the UK "international" keyboard layout option built-in to Windows. However, the FixIt version automated enablement seems  only available for US International, not for UK international. If you want US International without manually configuring it (interactive video) , take advantage of MS FixIt by clicking here.

New keyboard shortcuts for diacritics on LRC Teacher PC

  1. The US international keyboard layout that has come with MS-Windows for many years (though – except in the LRC – not set as default, you need to enable it in the control panel) greatly facilitates typing of characters for most languages that use Roman script with common diacritical marks, but does not cover Pinyin and similar diacritical marks.
  2. Carly from Carleton, as avid a language teacher as a technologist,  had the great idea to extend Microsoft’s US-international keyboard so as to include all the Pinyin tone marks (and other accents useful for linguists). Here is the upshot, extracted  from her  instructions, but excluding  what (either shortcut or (use of common accents within Pinyin is now covered also below) purpose) has not changed from the shortcuts of the non-extended US-international keyboard  that used to be the default in the LRC:
  3. What you want Which keys you press (before comma  is “dead” key = no result until after next key) Example

    acute accent, pinyin 2nd tone

    ‘(=apostrophe), vowel

    á é í ó ú

    grave accent, pinyin 4th tone

    `(=grave), vowel

    à è ì ò ù

    macron accent, pinyin 1st tone

    hyphen, vowel

    ā ē ī ō ū

    pinyin 3rd tone

    %(=shift+5), vowel

    e.g. ǎ ě ǐ ǒ ǔ

    ü with pinyin tones

    Accent, double-quote

    e.g. ǖ ǘ ǚ ǜ

    letter with dot below

    ; (=shift+period), letter


    letter with double acute

    : (=shift+;) , o or u

    ő, ű, Ő, Ű

  4. We are offering the extended US-international keyboard this as an optional keyboard on the teacher and student PCs with Windows 7.
    1. To select the new keyboard layout, use the language toolbar, click on 2nd option:
    2. image
    3. To explore the new keyboard layout use the Windows On-screen keyboard which will let you peek ahead after your pressed a dead key.
    4. To bypass a special dead key (= get the normal behavior of the key), press SPACE after it.

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 4 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