If you speak – and indeed type – the English language on a daily basis, you will eventually be in a situation where you have to use a loanword from a country that uses accents or other special characters in their alphabet. English itself is an amalgam languages encompassing influences from Germany, France, Italy, etc. What is more, multicultural societies mean that native English speakers are more likely to be working with someone whose name contains special characters.
In Windows 11 – the latest version of Microsoft’s operating system – there are a number of ways that you can add a special characters while writing. Windows 11 is an excellent operating system for work. It is the preferred system for many tech companies – like TechQuarters, who have been providing managed IT services London organizations rely on for many years. If you use Windows 11, and you need to be able to type out some special characters, here are the best ways of doing that:
Probably the easiest way to add special characters is by enabling the Windows touch keyboard. This is a feature is enabled automatically on Windows tablets, and Surfaces, and PCs that are in tablet mode. But you can still use the touch keyboard even if you don’t have a touchscreen. Here’s how to get it:
- Open Search from the taskbar, and search for ‘TouchKeyboard’. Alternatively, go to Settings > Time & language > Typing > Touch keyboard.
- Enable Show the touch keyboard when there’s no keyboard attached.
Now you should have the touch keyboard visible in the taskbar, near your date. Here’s how to add special characters with it.
- Open the touch keyboard (by clicking on it in the taskbar).
- When typing the letter that needs to be a special character, click and hold the letter (either with your mouse or with your finger).
- The key should expand when you hold it down, showing several extra options for the different ways of typing the letter (such as with different accents on the letter). Click on the character you want to use, and it will be typed out.
- The touch keyboard also allows you to type out emojis. Simply press the heart icon in the top left-hand corner.
You might think that the emoji keyboard is only capable of typing out emojis. While that is the main function of this keyboard, it can also be used for special characters.
- Hold down the Windows key and press the period (full-stop) key.
- When the emoji keyboard appears, click on the symbols tab at the top.
- In the symbols tab of the emoji keyboard, there are several categories of symbols along the top (such as currency symbols, or math symbols). Scroll through these categories, and at the very end, you will find Language symbols. These are the symbols you need to type special characters.
This is a slightly old-fashioned way of typing special characters is by using the character map in Windows. This is essentially a more barebones version of the touch keyboard or the emoji keyboard. Here’s how to use it:
- Open Search from the taskbar, and search for Character Map. Select the app to open it.
- The Character Map is essentially just a window with every available character listed in scroll-down menu.
- If you need to, you can change the font of the character using the drop-down menu at the top of the window.
- Click each letter that you want to use in your writing, and click Select. The character will then appear in the Characters to copy field at the bottom.
- When you have selected all the characters you need, click Copy. You can then paste these characters wherever you need them.