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Tools: TypeIt

TypeIt makes entering non-ASCII characters a cinchWhenever I type the word "resume", I cringe. I know it's wrong, I know it should have two é's, and I know that I'll be damned for all eternity because I am too lazy to figure out how to enter the accented characters...

There are all kinds of ways that software makers are trying to help folks like me. In Windows, for example, I could...

  • enter Alt + 130 (but only on the numeric pad, please) or
  • change the keyboard layout to the language in question (it's no fun trying to find your way around a U.S. keyboard programmed to act like a Czech one) or
  • load the Character Map (if I can dig four levels deep to Start > Programs > Accessories > System) or
  • when using MS Office and a few other programs, press Ctrl + ' + the desired letter.
But come on - none of these options are user-friendly. How am I going to remember any of them?

TypeIt to the rescue!

Simply place a link in your shortcut bar. After that, getting the right accented character or language-appropriate quotation marks takes four short steps:
  1. Click on the short cut to go to www.typeit.org.
  2. Select the language you need.
  3. Click on the characters you want.
  4. Copy and paste them to your application.
It won't win a Nobel Prize but if you have an occasional need to type non-English characters, TypeIt is a terrific time-saver. Voilà!

[Via the Global by Design blog!]

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  1. Anonymous said...
    Re Character Map (or any other program), if you use Windows Vista, click on Start and start typing the name, after a few letters you'll see the Character Map icon on top, no need to go around looking for it!
    Anonymous said...
    Additionally you can create shortcut keys for the characters you use all the time or use the US international keyboard. Both options are very easy and quicker than going to a site.
    Thomas Kis-Major said...
    When I do not want to change to the Hungarian keyboard, I put the few specially accented Hungarian characters into the Symbol icon (Omega) on my Quick Access Toolbar and copy it from there. One click on Symbol, one click on the character, that is it. HIH
    Renato Beninatto said...
    If you change your keyboard to US-International, you can type all accents using the US keyboard layout. The only keys that are affected are 'and ". If you want to make a ç, you just type ' and then c. It works on Windows. If you are on a Mac, you need to download a free application.
    Tom Roland said...
    Did anyone else read the "i" in TypeIt as an L? I was expecting some kind of "pelt" for typing, a sort of typing "skin"....

    Type-it sounds like a useful program, although I also find it pretty easy to look up the Alt codes on the printout I have posted by my desk.

    The method Renato describes sounds similar to the method that has worked on Macs since I started using them in 1994. For example, if you want to type é, type Option+e followed by the base letter (in this case, e). Here's a good table of the Mac codes: http://tlt.its.psu.edu/suggestions/international/accents/codemac.html
    Anonymous said...
    I write in French and English all day, I have my keyboard set to International English and it's a cinch to type accented characters. No need to start another utitliy or go to a website.
    ForeignExchange Translations said...
    Hi all - thanks for the comments. It goes to show that there are many ways to skin this cat. The great thing is that everybody can choose the method(s) that works best for her/him.

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