How to write french accented characters...
without a french keyboard?

Comment écrire les caractères accentués français...
avec un clavier qui n'est pas français?

-First method : install a "virtual" new french keyboard in your computer

-Second method : use Microsoft Word

Install a new french keyboard in your computer

Go to -> settings / control panel / Keyboard / Language / add
Choose: "French(Canadian)"... yes Canadian! :-)

And you will have to insert your windows cd-rom.

Afterward you will be able to switch from English to French keyboard by Left Alt+Shift, or Ctrl+Shift... or by a click of your mouse  on the little "Fr" or "En" that will appear on the right side of  your taskbar at the bottom of your screen....

Why French Canadian and not French Standard?
Because that will enable you to have the french accents without transforming your keyboard in an AZERTY french keyboard... The transformation is much less important and so you will not be too disturbed as it would be with the french keyboard : indeed! "AZERTY" means that A replace Q, Z replace W... and more!! just look:

French AZERTY keyboard------

With the French Canadian keyboard every letters will remain as they are in english keyboard:

French Canadian keyboard
Don't give attention to the location of CAPS, Tab, Esc... I found this pictures on  Jimmy's Windows CE Homepage

How to obtain the accents then?
As you can see on the picture above :
- é is located on the ( ?/) key at the lower right corner of the keyboard,
- É is obtained by SHIFT+ ( ?/ )
- to obtain   â  ê  î  û  ô    Ê Î Ô Û   press the ( {[) key and then a e i u o A E I O U.
- to obtain   à  è  ù  À È Ù   press ( ' " ) and then a e u A E U.
- to obtain   ë  ï  Ë  Ï     press SHIFT+ ( }]) and then e i E I.
- to obtain ç  and Ç : press ( }] ) and then c andC.

English US keyboard

The simplest way to use your new french keyboard is to write with a red pencil on the keys:
(there's enough place you can check... )
-( É ) on ( ?/ )
-the grave accent ( ` ) on  ( ' " ) just above your new ( É )
-( ^ ) on  ( {[ ) just above your new grave accent on the left
-( ¨ ) and ( ç ) on ( }]) just above the grave accent on the right.

By this method you will be able to obtain the accents on the capital letters, so you will have even more possibilities than with the french standard keyboard which don't enable that!! Yes really! You will be able to write in French better than the French themselves do! :-))

One more remark: ugh! :-(...

A few more keys will be changed for several special characters
...but much less than with the french standard keyboard!!
( " ) will be obtained by SHIFT+ ( >. )
( '  ) by  SHIFT+ ( <,)
( ?)  by SHIFT+ (^ 6 )
(@) will be obtained by ALT + @

( /  ) by SHIFT + #
( # ) by ( ~ )
( \ ) by ALT + ( ~ )
( { ) by ALT+ ( ' ")
( } ) by ALT + ( |\ )
( < ) by (|\ )
(> ) by SHIFT + ( |\ )
( [  ) and  ( ])  will be obtained by ALT + ( [ ) and ( ] )

You can very easily switch from one to the other keyboard, so every time you need to write these special characters , just switch to the English keyboard!
Nevertheless I recommend you  to learn how to write the apostrophe ( ' ) , the ( " ) the ( ? )  and maybe also the ( @ ). That will avoid you to have to switch too often... just put red marks onto the keys and you will see it's very easy to use your new french keyboard  which will enable you to write french accents in every Windows softwares!

Don't be scared by a try! you can set your english keyboard as default keyboard:
->settings/control panel/keyboard/language..."Set as default"...
Besides you'll have always the possibility to remove the french keyboard.

Another possible choice: the "English Canadian"...  yes still Canadian! :-)
Just have a look at the differences and make up your choice!!

You can't write ù, ï and ë... but maybe you'll find it easier to have the other letters...

Just a problem: the English US and the English Canadian keyboards have the same symbol "En" in the taskbar, it makes uneasy to know which one is activated, you need to click on the symbol to know.

-Second method : to use Microsoft Word

If you are really too scared by the transformation of your keyboard... there's still another simpler way! :-)

you can use Microsoft Word which enable you  to write the accents and then simply copy the text and paste it in your mail...

The following text is from the Microsoft Word Help

->Help / Contents / Typing Navigating.../ Typing / Insert symbols or special characters /
Type international characters
To produce Press
à, è, ì, ò, ù
À, È, Ì, Ò, Ù CTRL+` (ACCENT GRAVE), the letter
á, é, í, ó, ú, ý
Á, É, Í, Ó, Ú, Ý CTRL+' (APOSTROPHE), the letter
â, ê, î, ô, û
Â, Ê, Î, Ô, Û CTRL+SHIFT+^ (CARET), the letter
ã, ñ, õ
Ã, Ñ, Õ CTRL+SHIFT+~ (TILDE), the letter
ä, ë, ï, ö, ü, ÿ
Ä, Ë, Ï, Ö, Ü, Ÿ CTRL+SHIFT+: (COLON), the letter
å, Å CTRL+SHIFT+@, a or A
æ, Æ CTRL+SHIFT+&, a or A
œ, Œ CTRL+SHIFT+&, o or O
ç, Ç CTRL+, (COMMA), c or C
ð, Ð CTRL+' (APOSTROPHE), d or D
ø, Ø CTRL+/, o or O

Good luck with your accents!!
Don't hesitate to send me your comments about my bad english in this page... and elsewhere :-)

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