This document will show you how to configure your keyboard for easy access to accents and other diacritical marks needed in Spanish and other Continental European languages. The instructions apply to Windows 95/98/NT/2000. If you have a Linux machine then you probably already know how to do this and more :). For Windows 95/98/NT/2000: 1. Form the control panel double click on the Keyboard icon 2. Select the Language tab 3. Click on the properties button 4. From the drop down list of the Keyboard layout, select United-States-International 5. Click OK, you may be asked to insert you Windows CD so that the computer can read the appropriate .dll and configuration files. 6. Click OK on Keyboard Properties to close. That is it! The keyboard now has what is known as "dead keys." What this means is that the single and double quotes ' ", the caret ^ , the 'right pointing' quote ` , and the tilde ~ , will not print on the screen if pressed only once. To make them appear you need to press them twice or press the space bar afterwards. Conversely, if you need and accented vowel like the ones needed in Spanish, for example, then press the single quote key and then a vowel to get: á, é, í, ó, ú, ý, Á, É, Í, Ó, Ú, Ý. Or for the umlaut used in German press the double quote (shift+double quote) to obtain: ä, ë, ï, ö, ü, ÿ, Ä, Ë, Ï, Ö, Ü, Ÿ. For circumflex or acute accents used in French for example, then press the 'right pointing' quotation mark and then the vowel to get: à, è, ì, ò, ù, À, È, Ì, Ò, Ù, or the caret then the vowel: â, ê, î, ô, û, Â, Ê, Î, Ô, Û. For the 'ñ' used in Spanish or for nasal vowels used in Portuguese press the tilde and then the vowel or the letter n: ñ, Ñ, ã, õ, Ã, Õ. Finally for the 'ç' used in Portuguese, French and Old Spanish press the single quote and the c: ç. For the 'upside down' question mark or exclamation point, press the right Alt key (the Alt key that is to the right of the space bar) and the question mark or exclamation point (without the Shift key): ¿, ¡. (Note this will only work with the right Alt key and not the left. Also, the right Alt and Ctrl keys will no longer be useful for keyboard short cuts. You will need to press the left side Alt and Ctrl keys to access them. Additional character are available by holding down the Alt or Ctrl key and then one other key on the keyboard: for example you can get ß by pressing Alt s, or æ with Alt z, etc. In some Windows 98 applications the right Ctrl key will function as expected, though). The dead keys will function in any windows program except for DOS prompts (but will work under windows 2000!) and will allow you to continue to insert the tilde for internet addresses and the appropriate diacritical marks in documents created in any windows program. What to do if you can't access the control panel: If you are working on a network computer or a PC that has restricted access to certain functionality, like the control panel, don't despair, there is another method to get the characters you need. To obtain the á press the left Alt key and then on the key pad (not the numbers on the top row of the keyboard) type 0225. When you release the Alt key the á will appear. Here is the list of the other numbers for the rest of the characters (for Spanish only, at the moment. Full ASCII table to follow soon): 160 = á 130 = é 161 = í 162 = ó 163 = ú 193 = Á 144 = É 0205 = Í 0211 = Ó 0218 = Ú 164 = ñ 165 = Ñ 168 = ¿ 173 = ¡ 129 = ü Now, this might not be the most convenient way to write a paper in Spanish since it would break the train of thought, I realize that. So, what to do? One solution is to type away and put a single quote followed by the vowel like this: 'o. (so you would type: canci'on, for example). Then once you are done with your paper you do a search and replace of 'o by ó (using the codes above to enter the accented vowel in the 'replace' field). Mac instructions: The Mac operating system is a little more flexible or a little more cumbersome, depending on your perspective. Under Mac OS 7 to 9 you need to press the Option key and the letter E at the same time (Option+E) and then the vowel which you want the accent over. For example, to get á you would press: Option+E then the A key, for í press: Option+E then I, for an upper case É press: Shift+Option+E then the Shift key and the letter E at the same time, for the 'upside down' question mark press: Shift+Option then ? (At the moment I don't have the instructions for Mac OS X, sorry. But I suspect it's the same approach).