Microsoft Windows has built-in keystrokes for accessing characters that are not on the keyborad (sometimes called "extended characters"). These keystrokes will work in Word, Excel, Access, Paradox, or any other Windows-based program.
Below are some examples of these built-in keystrokes, followed by information on how to find out the sequences for all the others. To create these characters, you must hold down the ALT key on your keyboard with your left and, and type the number sequence on your keyboard's numeric keyboard with your right. After you have entered the number sequence, release the ALT key, and the symbol will appear.
You must enter all four digits (including the zero), and you must use the numeric keypad on the righthand side of your keyboard. The row of number keys at the top will not work.
Here are the codes for the most commonly used characters:
|¡||Alt + 0161||Õ||Alt + 0213||æ||Alt + 0230||ñ||Alt + 0241|
|¿||Alt + 0191||Ö||Alt + 0214||ç||Alt + 0231||ò||Alt + 0242|
|À||Alt + 0192||Ø||Alt + 0216||è||Alt + 0232||ó||Alt + 0243|
|Ã||Alt + 0195||Ü||Alt + 0220||é||Alt + 0233||ô||Alt + 0244|
|Ä||Alt + 0196||ß||Alt + 0223||ê||Alt + 0234||õ||Alt + 0245|
|Å||Alt + 0197||à||Alt + 0224||ë||Alt + 0235||ö||Alt + 0246|
|Æ||Alt + 0198||á||Alt + 0225||ì||Alt + 0236||ø||Alt + 0248|
|Ç||Alt + 0199||â||Alt + 0226||í||Alt + 0237||ù||Alt + 0249|
|É||Alt + 0201||ã||Alt + 0227||î||Alt + 0238||ú||Alt + 0250|
|Ñ||Alt + 0209||ä||Alt + 0228||ï||Alt + 0239||û||Alt + 0251|
|å||Alt + 0229||ð||Alt + 0240||ü||Alt + 0252|
Windows also includes an application called "Character Map" which you can use to determine the keyboard sequences for other extended characters. This includes not only foreign characters with diacritical marks, but also typographic symbols such as the ellipse; the em and en dashes; and the fraction, trademark, and copyright symbols.
If you are using Windows 3.1 or 3.11, you can find Character Map by double clicking on the "Accessories" group icon in Program Manager.
If you are using Windows 95, you can find Character Map by clicking on the "Start" button, followed by "Programs" and then "Accessories."
If you cannot find Character Map in these two locations, it may not be installed on your machine. Contact your computer support person.
Once you have opened Character Map, select the font you plan to use (note that not all extended characters may be available with all fonts). If you don't know which font to choose, choose Arial. After you have selected a font, click on the character for which you would like to know the keystroke. The ALT key combination will appear at the bottom right of the Character Map window. You can now close Character Map and return to your work.
Note: If you use Microsoft Word for Windows, you should also read "Creating Foreign Characters in Word for Windows."