Keyboards are something we all use whether it's on our computer, laptop, tablet or mobile phone, have you ever wondered how you get French accidents on the letters using an English keyboard.


The French keyboard known as “azerty” is very different from the English “qwerty” keyboard, not only do a number of letters move around but there are also accidents marked on some of the keys. For most people it's quite difficult to adjust from an English to French keyboard especially if you're a touch typist, even if you're not, then pressing shift to get a full stop is beyond most people's patients.


There are a large number of ways to get accented characters or symbols (such as a £ if you use a French keyboard), I’ve listed a few below.


You could use character map, this is a program built into Windows that lists all the symbols and characters for each font. It can be found in the start menu, all programs, accessories, system tools and then click on character map.


You could use the characters alt code, this is quite tricky as you have to hold down the ALT key and then type in the correct code into the numerical keypad on the right of the keyboard. I don't know about you but I can never remember the codes and I have no idea where little piece of paper that  I wrote on is now hiding.


Another method - this one only works in Microsoft programs. Is to use the apostrophe keys ( ‘ & `) you will find you have two of them one on the right of the keyboard on the same key as the @ symbol, and one on the on the left next to number 1, one slopes to the left and the other slopes to the right. To use these keys you hold down CTRL then press the apostrophe key that slopes in the correct direction for the accent you want, let go all keys and press the letter that you want accented.

Examples: CTRL + ‘ then e = é   CTRL + ` then a = à  CTRL + , then c = ç   CTRL + shift 6 then a = â


The final method uses a very clever website www.branah.com which gives you the option to choose the keyboard in many different languages. Simply click on the language of the keyboard you want and the keyboard appears on-screen you can tap with your mouse on the letters you want or you can type on your keyboard and the correct language letters appear on-screen. Pressing shift or CTRL gives you more characters.


When you're done typing and want to use the text in a document or e-mail press select all on-screen button, then right click over the text that is highlighted in blue and click copy.

Open your document or e-mail click the mouse where you want the text to appear and then right click and click paste.


If you have a keyboard in one language and want it in another permanently and don’t want to buy a new one, or cannot change it because it’s built into a laptop then I can sell you a keyboard sticker kit, please contact me for more details as several option are available.


If you need help or have any questions about your computer please give me a call or send me an email for FREE advice. Bruce@mirax.org or Telephone 05 61 60 84 23.