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Typing special characters


toujours gai, archie
No, not those kind of characters. I mean diacritic characters and symbols. I just found an article that talks about the multiple ways to do this on a PC. I know a couple and started to blow past but it occurred to me that others may not know about these options. Here's the main article
How to type special characters on a Windows PC
and here's a handy table for those who choose to use the International Keyboard option.
Help with Microsoft Keyboards US-International | School of Languages, Cultures, and Race | Washington State University

Note that all these are peculiar to the PC environment. For those of you laboring under a monopoly <gdr>, here's one for the Mac
How to type special characters on Macs

Now, folks, don't go crazy here. I döñ't wánt to sêë a bunch of craçy name spełłings as a resúlt of this pöst!


Thanks, Skip. This certainly beats guessing what the special character is called, Googling it, then copypasting it into a document from its Wikipedia page.


The Big Bad in my ms has an æ (ash) in his name, so it was a thing I had to type a lot! But I have a gaming keyboard, which means I have programmable keys, so one of them is æ (another is ‽ because I also use that a lot lol). But if you don't want to/can't do that, you can always set up Word/etc to have your name/made up word get autocorrected to the one with the special characters.

Tho heads up: if you want to use characters that aren't just A-Z with some stuff on them, you run the risk that various fonts/sites won't be able to display them. Like you can't use hieroglyphs or even emoji on Archive On Our Own, which really sucks especially if you're writing modern-day stuff and emojis would naturally be in the messages characters would be sending. Different devices will have different system fonts, so emoji won't always show up, especially new ones. Also this site doesn't support hieroglyphs :( I can't have my really cool signature with birds. If you use a lot of non-standard characters, make sure to check that it looks right once it's posted. Sometimes things break gracefully and show a blank box (tofu), sometimes it won't post anything, and sometimes it'll break and nothing after your offending character was even saved.
I only recently discovered the Windows Emoji Keyboard (Windows Key + period) and have been using it a lot lately. My single greatest need* for it is the em dash when I'm working on my laptop. On my desk PC, I was in the habit of holding Alt plus 0151, did that for years, but this requires a number pad, and my laptop doesn't have one. I have a number pad I can plug into it via USB, but even that wouldn't work. So I did a search and found the Emoji Keyboard, and that's fine.

* "My single greatest need" refers to the fact I'm a heavy user of the em dash in many contexts.
Alternatively, you could just buy a Finish keyboard (a scandinavian one should also do the trick) and you'll have all those wonderful characters on the keyboard by default. Admittedly, it might be harder if you're a laptop user to find a Finnish laptop. But I'm sure you can find a separate keyboard online