If you want to type special characters using your keyboard but do not want to install software to assist you in that, you can use ASCII code for that.
The issue here is that you do need to know the code to make use of it, for instance that Alt+1254 will return this character> µ.
That may not be an issue if you only need to access to one or two characters but if you need access to more than that, you would probably like an easier option in regards to that.
That's where KbdKaz 500 comes into play. It adds special keyboard layouts to your system for various languages including US English, German, French, Italian, Russian and Spanish.
Please note that you need to run the installer with elevated privileges and reboot the system afterwards. If things went well, the new keyboard layout should have been automatically selected by Windows so that it is ready for use.
Now, the documentation is extensive but it does not offer an easy to understand guide that explains to you in a paragraph or two how to use the new keyboard layout.
The program uses special keys, like AltGR or ` for example to give you access to the special characters. The basic idea here is to press the special key and the regular key on the keyboard at the same time to post a custom character.
Examples are probably helpful here. If you press AltGr-5 you get this character ‰, while AltGr+= gets you this one instead ≈.
A basic rule of thumb here is that the developer has tried to match similar looking characters together. You find variants of a mapped to the key, for instance áäα.
The main issue here is to remember the activation keys that you need to press to display those special characters on the screen.
The manual helps you with that. Here is one example:
You can enter any green key using AltGr with the top keys displayed when you hold Shift down in addition. The dead key in the upper left corner ` triggers additional characters as well that you can create using it. `+R for instance display ®.
The documentation displays several of these layouts and you can use those to learn how to use the program.
While that means a learning curve, it is actually pretty easy to start using the program right away even if you need access to more than a handful of different characters.
It is highly recommended that you read the manual first, or at least the first pages of it so that you understand the core mechanics of the extension.
If you need access to special characters and want something that feels more natural than memorizing ASCII numbers, then you will like this program as it does so. You can even install different language layouts and switch between them if you like, provided that those layouts are provided by the author of the application.
All in all a handy tool with a learning curve.
Advertising revenue is falling fast across the Internet, and independently-run sites like Ghacks are hit hardest by it. The advertising model in its current form is coming to an end, and we have to find other ways to continue operating this site.
We are committed to keeping our content free and independent, which means no paywalls, no sponsored posts, no annoying ad formats (video ads) or subscription fees.
If you like our content, and would like to help, please consider making a contribution:
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.