Using US-Int'l Keyboard Layout to Type Accented Characters


This article describes how to use the US-International keyboard layout to create accented characters.

More Information

When you use the US-International keyboard layout, you should also use the English (International) language setting. To change these settings, choose the International icon in Control Panel.

The US-International keyboard layout does not remap your standard US keyboard layout; instead, it creates international characters by assigning certain characters a strikeover function so that you can use them to add an accent or diacritical mark to a character. It also assigns new functions to the right-most ALT key. The following describes the features of the US-International Keyboard Layout:

  • When you press the APOSTROPHE (') key, QUOTATION MARK (") key, ACCENT GRAVE (`) key, TILDE (~) key, ACCENT CIRCUMFLEX key, or CARET (^) key, nothing appears on the screen until you press the a second key. If you press one of the letters designated as eligible to receive an accent mark, the accented version of the letter appears. If you press an ineligible key, two separate characters appear. In other words, the US-International keyboard layout dynamic-link library (DLL) automatically accents letters that customarily receive an accent but does not automatically accent letters that do not customarily receive an accent.
  • The right-most ALT key activates additional functions for the APOSTROPHE/QUOTATION MARK key. As a result, the right-most ALT key no longer performs Windows functions. You must use the left-most ALT key to perform Windows functions and as part of key combinations in Windows (such as ALT+TAB or ALT+F4) or Windows-based applications (such as ALT+F1 in Word for Windows).
  • You can press the right-most ALT key plus another character to produce some common extended characters. Most keys on the keyboard produce one or two extended characters in combination with the right-most ALT key. The following table lists some of the extended characters you can produce with the right-most ALT+<character> key combination:

    Note: This is an incomplete list due to the difficulty of displaying extended characters in some environments.

    Key Combination Result

    Right-most ALT+r Registered trademark symbol

    Right-most ALT+c Copyright symbol

    Right-most ALT+z ae symbol

    Right-most ALT+Z AE symbol
  • If you want to type one of these characters (an APOSTROPHE, QUOTATION MARK, CARET, TILDE, or ACCENT GRAVE) followed by an unaccented letter, press the SPACEBAR after you press the key. For example, to type "A girl named Sally," press the QUOTATION MARK key, then press the SPACEBAR, then press A.
The following table lists the accented characters you can create using the US-International keyboard layout:

Press Then Press
This Key This Key Result

APOSTROPHE (') c c, Cedilla

APOSTROPHE (') e, y, u, i, o, a <letter>, Accent acute

APOSTROPHE (') SPACEBAR Apostrophe (')

APOSTROPHE (') All others Apostrophe followed by
the letter (two separate

Right-most ALT+ n/a Accent acute
Apostrophe (')

QUOTATION MARK (") e, u, i, o, a <letter>, Dieresis

QUOTATION MARK (") SPACEBAR Quotation mark (")

QUOTATION MARK (") All others Quotation mark followed
by the letter (two
separate characters)

Right-most ALT+QUOTATION MARK n/a Dieresis
(Right-most ALT+SHIFT+

ACCENT GRAVE (`) e, u, i, o <letter>, Accent grave


ACCENT GRAVE (`) All others Accent grave followed by
the letter (two separate

TILDE (~) o, n <letter>, Tilde


TILDE (~) all others Tilde followed by
the letter (two separate

CARET (^) e, u, i, o, a <letter>, Caret


CARET (^) All others Caret followed by
the letter (two separate


Windows version 3.1 online help for Control Panel.