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You are here: MacNN Forums > Software - Troubleshooting and Discussion > macOS > Typing some foreign language characters

Typing some foreign language characters
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l008com
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Dec 20, 2007, 09:32 AM
 
I have an associate who has a US English MacBook Pro. He writes mostly in english but also in may other european languages. Mostly in MS Word, which lets you manually set up keyboard shortcuts for special characters. But there are two specific characters that Word won't let you set up short cuts for. And so I'm wondering if there is a way to type these natively on they keyboard without having to drag them in from a character palette?

Ű and Ő are the main two needed. Apparently these are very popular characters in some languages.

If the letters don't show up for you, they are the letters o and u, both with a double acute accent.
     
Judge_Fire
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Dec 20, 2007, 09:45 AM
 
They appear to be Hungarian characters, so one way is to change your keyboard layout from the 'International/Input Menu' pane in System Preferences. This maps them like this on the US keyboard. Tried it with my Finnish/Swedish - keyboard and it worked fine, except for remapping a number of other keys in annoying ways
     
l008com  (op)
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Dec 20, 2007, 09:50 AM
 
öÖÖÖ°°öőőŐŐŰűűŰ wow thats great! Thats probably all I need! As much as I know about macs, I've never needed to know any of this stuff as I'm an English-only speaker.
     
monkeybrain
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Dec 20, 2007, 11:47 AM
 
Macs are so easy for other languages: OS X comes with most other languages built in and setting up input and switching between display languages is so simple. I really think Apple should push these features more to international users, particularly the Asian market because Asian fonts (e.g. Chinese, Japanese, Korean) look so much better on OS X than under XP (although Vista is good, so Apple have lost this edge a bit now).
     
Veltliner
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Dec 20, 2007, 09:09 PM
 
When you switch to another keyboard set in "international" and then back to the US keyboard, you'll see that the other keyboard got an icon in the menu on the top right corner of your screen.

You click on the American flag, the submenu shows up, and the other keyboard set will be there. Switching can be done in 2 seconds. This is a great improvement that showed up in one of the later Tiger revisions.

This way, you don't need any shortcuts in Word.
     
JKT
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Dec 21, 2007, 01:57 PM
 
Also, you can activate the character palette and keyboard viewer in the Input menu pane of International Preferences to provide you with access to all the possible characters you can input on your Mac.
     
CharlesS
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Dec 21, 2007, 09:30 PM
 
Originally Posted by Judge_Fire View Post
They appear to be Hungarian characters, so one way is to change your keyboard layout from the 'International/Input Menu' pane in System Preferences. This maps them like this on the US keyboard. Tried it with my Finnish/Swedish - keyboard and it worked fine, except for remapping a number of other keys in annoying ways
To avoid remapping a number of other keys in annoying ways, just use the US Extended keyboard layout instead of the Hungarian one. The keys are now mapped the way they are on a US keyboard, but you can put '˝' over characters by typing Option-J. Example: Ő Ű.

US Extended also lets you type characters from pretty much any other language that uses the Roman alphabet. For example, it allows you to spell the composer Antonín Dvořák's name properly. And since it leaves most of the US stuff you're used to alone, you can leave your keyboard layout set to US Extended pretty much all the time.

Make sure to activate the keyboard viewer as well so you can see what special characters are mapped to what keys.

Ticking sound coming from a .pkg package? Don't let the .bom go off! Inspect it first with Pacifist. Macworld - five mice!
     
rem
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Dec 22, 2007, 07:28 AM
 
Originally Posted by CharlesS View Post
To avoid remapping a number of other keys in annoying ways, just use the US Extended keyboard layout instead of the Hungarian one. The keys are now mapped the way they are on a US keyboard, but you can put '˝' over characters by typing Option-J. Example: Ő Ű.

US Extended also lets you type characters from pretty much any other language that uses the Roman alphabet. For example, it allows you to spell the composer Antonín Dvořák's name properly. And since it leaves most of the US stuff you're used to alone, you can leave your keyboard layout set to US Extended pretty much all the time.

Make sure to activate the keyboard viewer as well so you can see what special characters are mapped to what keys.
That's what I do when typing in French. The best thing is how intuitive it is. On Windows you have to memorize ascii codes. For example, ctrl+1-3-0 = é. On OS X, its alt+a letter or symbol (that is intuitive). So alt-e gives you the most commonly used accent that goes with "e" = accent aïgue (´), then you can select any valid character works with that accent. Apple has the absolutely best international support by a long shot.
     
rem
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Dec 22, 2007, 07:44 AM
 
Another thing you can do is display the character palette and select the character with a mouse click.
     
Judge_Fire
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Dec 22, 2007, 08:45 AM
 
Oh cool, there is now a Finnish Extended, too. Could have been there a while, but CharlesS' tip made me look

Originally Posted by Veltliner
You click on the American flag, the submenu shows up, and the other keyboard set will be there. Switching can be done in 2 seconds. This is a great improvement that showed up in one of the later Tiger revisions.
Hasn't the flag submenu been there, as an option, since System 7?
     
   
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