Using the US-International Keyboard

To use the Java-based grammar exercises, you will need to install a keyboard layout that allows you to enter accented and other characters used by French, Spanish, Portuguese and Italian such as á, ì, ö, ç, and ¿. The best way is to install the US-International keyboard driver found on the original Windows installation diskettes or CD. Here are the instructions for installing the driver:

For computers using Windows 7:

1.       Click on Start, then Control Panel.

2.      Under “Clock, Language, and Region,” select “Change keyboards or other input methods.”

3.      Choose the “Keyboards and Languages” tab, then click on the “Change keyboards” button.

4.      If the “United States-International” does not appear in the lower box under “English,” click “Add.”

5.      Scroll down to highlight “United States-International,” then click OK.

6.      Highlight the new keyboard configuration and select it as your default keyboard if you wish.

7.      Click OK to return to the Control Panel.

For computers using Windows XP:

  1. Click on Start, then Control Panel. 
  2. Double click on the “Regional and Language Options” icon, then single click on the "Languages" tab (the second tab).
  3. Under “Text Services and Input Languages,” click on “Details” button.
  4. To install the US-International keyboard layout (which you only need to do once): On the “Settings” tab under “Installed Services,” click on Keyboard then on the “Add” button.
  5. In the next dialog window, “Input Language” should say “English (United States).” Check “Keyboard layout/IME” and select “United States-International” from the drop-down menu. Click “OK.”
  6. To make the US-International keyboard layout your default keyboard layout, on the same “Settings” tab, under “Default Input Language” select “English (United States) – United States – International” from the drop-down menu. Click OK to close “Text Services and Input Languages.”
  7. Then click OK to close “Regional and Language Options” and return to the Control Panel window.
  8. Close the Control Panel window.

Once the driver has been installed, accessing the accented characters is quite easy because the characters for acute, grave, and circumflex accents and tildes have now been made into "dead" keys, which means that nothing happens immediately upon pressing the apostrophe key or another accent key. If the next key pressed is a vowel, an accented vowel will appear. For an accented a (á), for example, just type the apostrophe, then the a. For an è, type the backward apostrophe ` then the e: è. An i with a circumflex is created by typing the circumflex (shift 6: ^) then the i: î. This also works with the double quote (") for the umlaut (dieresis) and the tilde (ñ, ã). Not all combinations are so intuitive:

To get:
ç
¡
¿

Type:
apostrophe then c
Alt+Ctrl+1
Alt+Ctrl+/

Note that if the next key entered after the accent is not a vowel or other letter, then you will get the apostrophe or other mark followed by the letter: 'n, ^p, ~d. If you want to enter just an apostrophe or other mark, enter the mark followed by the space key to get ' " ^ ~, etc.

A much less elegant way to enter accented characters is to use the old ASCII combinations. (This will work with the JavaScript-based pages but not with the Java-based pages.) You can enter lots of different characters by holding down the Alt key and entering number combinations on the Num pad (make sure NumLock is on). Here are the most common foreign language combinations:

 

To insert:

Ç
ü
é
â
ä
à
å
ç
ê
ë
è
ï
î
ì
Ä
Å
É
ô
ö
ò
û
ù
Ö
Ü
á
í
ó
ú
ñ
Ñ
ª
º
¿
¡

Hold down the Alt key and enter the
following number on the Num pad:
128
129
130
131
132
133
134
135
136
137
138
139
140
141
142
143
144
147
148
149
150
151
153
154
160
161
162
163
164
165
166
167
168
173

Finally, for word processing, Word has language features built into it that allow for easy creation of Spanish language documents. The accents remain the same (using the US-International keyboard), but you can set up Word to detect the language automatically, invert the ! and ? before a word, automatically superscript the ª and º, and perform spell check and the thesaurus functions in Spanish.