BRASIL ! Typing Diacriticals (Accents) in Windows     | Home |

Diacriticals or accented characters such as à, À, á, Á, ã, Ã, ç, Ç, é, É, ê, Ê, Í, í, ó, Ó, ú, Ú, ü, Ü are essential when typing Portuguese (as well as other Western European languages including Spanish, French, German, Italian, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch, Swedish, etc.), especially when you intend to translate the text with a machine translation software program or free Internet translation service.

Translation programs can only correctly identify and translate words when they are correctly spelled and diacriticals or accented characters are essential to proper spelling. For example, the correctly spelled Portuguese word vocêwith the ^ diacritical/accentwould not be recognized and, consequently, not translated by any Portuguese translation program if it were spelled vocewithout the ^diacritical/accented character.

All Windows® operating systems contain a system you can enable and use to quickly and easily type all required diacriticals or accented characters for any Western European language including Portuguese. This is accomplished by enabling and using the US or United States International keyboard driver. With the US or United States International keyboard driver enabled, you can easily type both English and every diacritical (accented character) required for Portuguese or any other Western European language.

To enable the US-International keyboard driver in Windows® 7, Vista and XP (Microsoft web site)

To enable the Windows® US-International keyboard driver in Windows® 95, 98, ME, 2000 and NT:
1. click the Start button, then the Settings option and, finally Control Panel
2. From the Control Panel window, double-click the Keyboard icon to open the Keyboard Properties window
3. In the Keyboard Properties window, click the Language tab and, then, the Properties button.
4. Scroll down the list until you see US or United States International listed. Click directly on the US or United States International name and then click all the OK buttons as you exit all related windows. The chart below contains the necessary keyboard combinations to to type the various diacriticals (accented characters) required to type Portuguese correctly.

Note: If the US-International keyboard driver is not already resident on your hard drive when you attempt to enable it, a message will appear and request that you to insert a specific Windows® (operating system) installation CD. Carefully follow the on-screen directions after you have inserted the requested CD.


United States International Keyboard Picture


Using the Windows® US or United States International keyboard
The US-International keyboard often employs a dead key system where the desired accent is typed first and only then the letter to be accented.

Character

                      Keyboard Strokes
à
` key and then the A key (the ` key is usually in the far upper left corner of the keyboard below the Esc key)
À
` key and then the Shift + A keys simultaneously (the ` key is usually in the far upper left corner of the keyboard below the Esc key)
á
' (apostrophe) key and then the A key OR first press the Right Alt key and, while holding it down, press the A key
Á
' (apostrophe) key and then the Shift + A keys simultaneously OR first press the Right Alt key and, while holding it down, press the Shift + A keys simultaneously
â
Shift + ^ keys simultaneously and then the A key
Â
Shift + ^ keys simultaneously and then the Shift + A keys simultaneously
â
Shift + ^ keys simultaneously and then the A key
Â
Shift + ^ keys simultaneously and then the Shift + A keys simultaneously
ã
Shift + ~ keys simultaneously and then the A key
Ã
Shift + ~ keys simultaneously and then the Shift + A keys simultaneously
ç
Ctrl + Alt + , (comma) keys simultaneously OR first press the Right Alt key and, while holding it down, press the , (comma) key
Ç
Shift + Ctrl + Alt + , (comma) keys simultaneously OR first press the Right Alt key and, while holding it down, press the Shift + , (comma) keys simultaneously
é
' (apostrophe) key and then the E key OR first press the Right Alt key and, while holding it down, press the E key
É
' (apostrophe) key and then the Shift + E keys simultaneously OR first press the Right Alt key and, while holding it down, press the Shift + E keys simultaneously
ê
Shift + ^ keys simultaneously and then the E key
Ê
Shift + ^ keys simultaneously and then the Shift + E keys simultaneously
ó
' (apostrophe) key and then the O key OR first press the Right Alt key and, while holding it down, press the O key
Ó
' (apostrophe) key and then the Shift + O keys simultaneously OR first press the Right Alt key and, while holding it down, press the Shift + O keys simultaneously
õ
Shift + ~ keys simultaneously and then the O key
Õ
Shift + ~ keys simultaneously and then the Shift + O keys
ô
Shift + ^ keys simultaneously and then the O key
Ô
Shift + ^ keys simultaneously and then the Shift + O keys simultaneously
ú
' (apostrophe) key and then the U key OR first press the Right Alt key and, while holding it down, press the U key
Ú
' (apostrophe) key and then the Shift + U keys simultaneously OR first press the Right Alt key and, while holding it down, press the Shift + U keys simultaneously
ü
" (quotation mark) key and then the U key
Ü
" (quotation mark) key and then the Shift + U keys simultaneously

Please Note:
1. The ~ (til is Portuguese, tilde is Spanish) is usually combined with the ` (grave accent) on one key and usually in the far upper left hand corner below the Esc key
2. The ^ character is the Shift character on the (number) 6 key.
3. To type a " (quotation mark) by itself before a vowel, you must press the space bar after pressing the " (quotation mark) key
4. To type an ' (apostrophe) by itselfbefore a vowel, you must press the space bar after pressing the ' (apostrophe) key

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