Many pages on By the People are written in languages other than English or contain words and phrases with accents, such as café or coup de théâtre. Writers such as Mary Church and Clara Barton spent time in Germany and France, and sometimes practiced their language skills by writing in the local language. Abraham Lincoln received correspondence from speakers of many other languages, and Alan Lomax and his collaborators wrote down songs and stories in French, Creole, German, Finnish, Swedish, Polish, and Hungarian. We want to capture these languages as they appear on the page, just as the authors wrote them down. Here’s how you can use or adapt your existing keyboard.
How to Type Accented Characters and diacritic marks on Mac
For accented letters:
- Press and hold down the letter you wish to accent until a menu with character accents appears
- Choose the character accent with the mouse or press the number corresponding below the accent in the menu. These numbers appear in light grey below the accents.
Another way to type diacritics and ligatures on a Mac is to use key combinations:
- é, ó – Acute: Hold down OPTION key + e, then type the letter you want to accent
- ô – Circumflex: Hold down OPTION key + i + the letter
- ñ – Hold down OPTION key + n + the letter
- ö – Trema: Hold down OPTION key + u + the letter
- ç – Cedilla: Hold down OPTION key + c
- ø – Hold down OPTION key + o
- å Å – Hold down OPTION key + a
- Æ – AE Ligature: Hold down OPTION key + ‘
- œ – OE Ligature: Hold down OPTION key + q
- ¿ – Hold down OPTION key and SHIFT key + ?
- ¡ – Hold down OPTION key + 1
How to Type Accented Characters and diacritic marks on Microsoft Windows
Below you will find links to instructions on the Microsoft support pages for how to add and switch between different languages on your Windows device. You can install as many language keyboards as you want. Instructions vary for different versions of Windows.
If you are unsure which version of Windows is running on your device, here are instructions on how to find that information: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/13443/windows-which-version-am-i-running
For entering Spanish, French, and German accents, install the "United States - International" keyboard. To add Finnish, Swedish, Hungarian and other languages, select the relevant language from the list of available keyboards in the Windows list. You can find this list by following the directions linked above.
To switch between different language keyboard settings on Windows
- For Windows XP, 7 and 10 press left-Ctrl + left-Shift
- For Windows 10 you may also press and hold the Windows key + Spacebar