German letters such as "ö"

I wonder how I can put some German letters on the screen of my computer. I know that there are such letters as “ö” that do not exist on the English keyboard. Should I change the OS or the keyboard of my computer?

I am now using Japanese WIndows XP OS and ATOK.

For ö, hold “ALT” and, on the keypad, type “1”, “4” & “8” (don’t hold the numbers though, just press them)
If you want ä, hold “ALT” and type “1”, “3” & “2”.

Also you can add English (International) keyboard layout.
’ + a = á
" + a = ä
` + a = à
^ + a = â

in my case
Alt + 1,4, 8 = Ф
Alt + 1, 3, 2 = Д

I think I should change something, that is , the OS or the keyboard. I tried what you suggested, but there was no response on the screen.
Thank you for replying my question.

“replying my question” should read “replying to my question.”

Ah ok, I thought it was the same everywhere.

I like using these shortcuts because I find that it doesn’t take long before I can remember the codes.

For French, the main ones I use are:
Alt + 1 3 3 (à)
Alt + 1 3 0 (é)
Alt + 1 3 5 (ç)
Alt + 1 3 6 (ê)
Alt + 1 3 8 (è)

Alt + 1 6 4 (ñ)
I haven’t gotten used to the accented u, i, o etc. yet.

click right mouse button on language bar and choose “Settings…” in appeared context menu.
On “General” tab add new language, and in appeared “add input language” window choose “English (United States) → Keyboard → United States International”.
So, you will have two languages: English (International), where you will be able to write ä, ü, etc. and Japanese (with possibility to switch to normal English keyboard by Alt + ~).

I think my environment is very specific.

My keyboard(HHKB Professional): Ой!
Key layout change utility(キー配列変換ユーティリティ): Ой!

“specific” should read “special.”

do you have the “Keyboards and languages” tab at “Start → Control Panel → Regional and Language options”.
Unfortunately right now I am under Windows Vista, but I think in Windows XP the path is the same.

Yutaka, you have not to shange your OS or keyboard, you should only install German layout. See a manual for XP. I have a localized Russian version of XP so I can’t show you the exact path but in English version it is something like CONTROL PANEL > LANGUAGES > LAYOUTS. And as the last step you can stick a little tabs with German letters on the keys.

there is the instruction:
Perhaps, you should activate language bar first… In Russia the language bar is always activated as we should switch from Russian to English (for typing URL’s. for example). That’s why I even had no clue that it can be disabled…

On the one hand German layout is better as it has “ss” (the letter that looks like Greek “beta”). But on the other hand the layout is quite different from English and it cause some problems. When I worked as secretary of foreign languages sub-faculty, I used to type a lot of texts in German, and it was quite hard as places of some letters differs from the places of the same letters in English layout. I don’t mention punctuation marks.

I installed the German layout and the US international layout.
By selecting the German language bar I was able to put ö(Shift + 2), ä(shift +6), … but y was z, and z was y.
By selecting the US language bar … I cannot describe what is going on on the screen.

Sorry to bother you all.


The German keyboard changes the layout of some of the keys. Better stick with the US International keyboard. Take a look at this page to see how it is used:

Thank you, Cantotango.
I think my problem might be related to the special software USJP(v1.1) that I installed to use both the Japanese keyboard on my laptop and the external English keyboard.


Your alt+ codes (and Rasana’s) will be different from Peter’s if you are using a different ISO encoding. There is no international standard.

You could change to the German keyboard if you intend to type a lot of German. If not the x/y interchange will probably make your head hurt.

I use the UK international keyboard to type in German, because the US layout has the punctuation in different places and it confuses me.

Some users create their own keyboard layouts and maybe you can find one on the internet. I have no idea how they do it, but it is possible that somewhere in Japan a Japanese person has “tweaked” the standard Japanese keyboard layout to allow typing German characters. I use a user-created Russian keyboard, where the Russian characters are mapped as closely as possible to their Roman phonetic equivalents. It would puzzle a Russian to use it :wink:

Hmm, I wonder if we Swedish keyboard users are spoiled… The key next to backspace has ´ and `, and the one below (next to ENTER) has ^, ¨ and ~ (as the Alt Gr option), so we just press the accent and then the letter.

OK, we can’t type ç this way, nor ß (but hey, just two codes to memorize instead of installing a new language option/copy+paste/learning all the accented characters).

Curiously enough, I have been trying to find the equivalent of ASCII codes for other writing systems. No luck, so far. Like Peter I quite like using them for the western languages, although I also have the language bar options. We have had similar threads and I remember Steve talking about virtual keyboards - would that be an option for the Japanese OS?