How to Add/Insert/Type Special Characters

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How to Add/Insert/Type Special Characters

Post by Ossicone » Mon 10 Dec 2012, 20:43

IMPORTANT: This is a guide I've been wanting to write for a long time. It is one of the most frequently asked questions on the forums and it would be nice to have the information compiled in one place. However, I will need help and feedback to make this helpful for all users. What I will need most is information about resources and tools for Windows users. Especially on anything post-Windows XP.

If you have resources you like/use let me know! If something here doesn't work correctly, let me know! If I typo'd, let me know!

How to Add/Insert/Type Special Characters

One of the most common problems newcomers have is how to input characters not typically found on a computer keyboard. The problem usually arises after one learns about IPA.

There are several methods that can be used and which one is best will depend on your needs and preferences.
Here is a key to help you figure out which is best for you:
* Usable on any computer without any additional programs or modifications
+ Requires additional programs or system access.
M Macs only.
W Windows only.


XSAMPA to IPA Converters *
- XSAMPA, which stands for Extended Speech Assessment Methods Phonetic Alphabet, is a way of writing IPA using only the ASCII characters that could be reliably rendered in the early days of the internet. Given its ease of use (as well as out of habit) XSAMPA is still used today. In my experience it is typically used when typing quickly.

- However, when presenting a work it is generally nicer to use IPA. Without any other work one can simply copy-paste XSAMPA text into a covert which will then let you copy-paste the IPA into whatever you're working on.

Sweet and simple
Comparison charts and converter (top right).

- Also works well for figuring out XSAMPA if you haven't learned it.

Online Keyboards *
-There are times when the XSAMPA convert can't help though:
-If you haven't learned XSAMPA.
-If you don't want to keep copy-pasting symbols.
-If you need a special character or diacritic which isn't part of IPA.

-In those cases using an online keyboard can come in handy. These pages allow you to type in a box and when you need a special character you can simply click a button and the character required will appear below.

Full IPA as well as several language specific characters.

Character Viewer M+
-For Mac users there is an additional easy method which can be used offline. The character viewer will show all the characters available (divided by section and searchable) and allow you to input them easily.

-It can be accessed via 'System Preferences' then clicking 'Language & Text.' On the far right click 'Input Sources.' At the top in the box on the left you should see "Keyboard & Character Viewer," make sure the box next to it is checked. Finally, near the bottom you should see "Show Input menu in menu bar" make sure the box next to it is checked as well.

Code: Select all

- Applications > System Preferences > Language & Text > Input Sources
	- Check box next to "Keyboard & Character Viewer"
	- Check box next to "Show Input menu in menu bar"
	- Both boxes must be checked!
-Once both boxes are checked you should see the icon Image appear on the menu bar on the top right. (If you already use multiple keyboard layout you may see a flag instead.) Click on it and a menu will drop down. Select "Show Character Viewer."

-Now you can see a box contain all sorts of characters and symbols. If you want to insert IPA use the side navigation and click "Symbols" then "Phonetic Symbols." Not only can you find the symbols here but also several combining diacritics. To insert them into text either double-click the character (make sure the blinking cursor is where you want the text to come out) or drag and drop the character where you want it.

-If you want to insert other characters navigate to the script you wish to use. So if you want so add "ẙ" you would go to "European Scripts" and the "Latin."

-Additionally, if you frequently write in a language that uses special characters you might want to simply use a keyboard layout designed for such a purpose. Go back to "Language & Text" and check the box next to the language you use. A flag will appear in the menu bar and you can switch between keyboard layouts by clicking on the flag.


Custom Keyboard Layout +
-Depending on how frequently you use special characters the options above can become tedious. The quickest way I've found is to create a custom keyboard. That way you can assign the characters you use the most in a way that makes sense to you.

-My personal keyboard layout I use for English, IPA, Spanish and Swedish without having to do more than a few a key strokes. You will have to do a little initial work of setting up the layout and there are programs to help you do it.

For Macs:
Ukelele

For Windows:
The Microsoft Keyboard Layout Creator - Additional Instructions
● Changing keyboard layout on Windows 7 (& Possibly Vista) **Many thanks to Freddie!**
Changing keyboard layout on Windows 7 wrote:1. Click on Start > Control Panel > Clock, Language & Region > Keyboards & Languages > Change keyboard or other input methods
2. Click Change Keyboards and a dialog box should appear.
3. If you have already installed a custom keyboard layout then select it from the drop-down box at the top. (If not, skip to step 5)
4. If you want to use this layout as default, click Apply and then OK. You may need to log off and then on again for changes to take effect.
5. To just use a natlang's keyboard-layout, go to step 6. To create a new keyboard layout, see instructions for "Microsoft Keyboard Layout Creator" and then create your layout on there, export the installer and install it. You can then go to step 3.
6. If you just want to change your keyboard layout to another language then click "Add..."
7. Select the layout you want from the list and then press "OK".
8. If you want to use this layout as default, then, from the top drop-down box, select that layout and click Apply and OK. You may have to log off and then log on again for changes to take effect.

Note: Once you have added a layout into the "Installed Services" box, you can switch between these layouts using a Keyboard icon that should appear near the right-side of the task-bar. You must, however, have applied your changes by clicking "Apply" then "OK" after selecting your layout(s).
Compose Key W **Many thanks to cntrational!**
- Some keyboards come with a compose key. Using this key you can hit a sequence of keys which will then produce the special character you want. Additionally, another key (like ctrl) can be used if a compose key is not available. However, you will need a program to use this function. This method can be used on Windows and Linux computers.

Freecompose - For Windows 2000 and newer.
AllChars - For Windows 95, 98, ME, NT 4, 2000, XP and Vista (partly), works with the ctrl key.
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Re: How to Add/Insert/Type Special Characters

Post by Fleur » Mon 10 Dec 2012, 20:59

That looks like a great guide which will help many people.
And hopefully I can help you help a few more as I have knowledge on Windows XP+.

Hopefully this will help:

Changing keyboard layout on Windows 7 (& Possibly Vista)
1. Click on Start > Control Panel > Clock, Language & Region > Keyboards & Languages > Change keyboard or other input methods
2. Click Change Keyboards and a dialog box should appear.
3. If you have already installed a custom keyboard layout then select it from the drop-down box at the top. (If not, skip to step 5)
4. If you want to use this layout as default, click Apply and then OK. You may need to log off and then on again for changes to take effect.
5. To just use a natlang's keyboard-layout, go to step 6. To create a new keyboard layout, see instructions for "Microsoft Keyboard Layout Creator" and then create your layout on there, export the installer and install it. You can then go to step 3.
6. If you just want to change your keyboard layout to another language then click "Add..."
7. Select the layout you want from the list and then press "OK".
8. If you want to use this layout as default, then, from the top drop-down box, select that layout and click Apply and OK. You may have to log off and then log on again for changes to take effect.

Note: Once you have added a layout into the "Installed Services" box, you can switch between these layouts using a Keyboard icon that should appear near the right-side of the task-bar. You must, however, have applied your changes by clicking "Apply" then "OK" after selecting your layout(s).

For help on Microsoft Keyboard Layout Creator, click here!

Hopefully that may help people on Windows.
I'd like a Mac, though. They seem cooler than Windows [:(]
Unfortunately, that makes them almost 4 times more expensive Dx
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Re: How to Add/Insert/Type Special Characters

Post by cntrational » Tue 11 Dec 2012, 13:48

http://code.google.com/p/freecompose/

A way for Windows computers to use the Compose Key.
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Re: How to Add/Insert/Type Special Characters

Post by nmn » Tue 11 Dec 2012, 16:39

cntrational wrote:http://code.google.com/p/freecompose/

A way for Windows computers to use the Compose Key.
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Re: How to Add/Insert/Type Special Characters

Post by Ossicone » Tue 11 Dec 2012, 17:40

Thanks guys, I'll try and add them in later tonight. [:D]
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Re: How to Add/Insert/Type Special Characters

Post by Fanael » Tue 11 Dec 2012, 18:11

Too bad it doesn't support sequences longer than two keys, which means it's not that much useful for somebody who's used to X11 compose sequences.

Could you add my vim plugin to the list? I have to fix the bugs eventually. And add features. And...
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Re: How to Add/Insert/Type Special Characters

Post by mbrsart » Wed 12 Dec 2012, 04:15

A long time ago I created an IPA profile for my Logitech G-13 Advanced Gameboard. It worked nicely, but I find that I prefer using X-SAMPA converters. Converters are especially helpful if you're working with Lexique Pro, which doesn't like alternate keyboard layouts. All I get is one character, and then it switches me back to English from IPA.
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Re: How to Add/Insert/Type Special Characters

Post by Hālian » Wed 12 Dec 2012, 06:25

You cannot install MSKLC-wrought layouts in Windows 8. :(
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Re: How to Add/Insert/Type Special Characters

Post by Ossicone » Sun 16 Dec 2012, 20:56

Fanael wrote:Too bad it doesn't support sequences longer than two keys, which means it's not that much useful for somebody who's used to X11 compose sequences.

Could you add my vim plugin to the list? I have to fix the bugs eventually. And add features. And...
I'm not sure how I feel about adding this. It seems like it's in a rather unpolished stage. [:S]
Can you give me a thorough description of how to install and use it?

Also, is someone here will to try it out and give a review?
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Re: How to Add/Insert/Type Special Characters

Post by Ossicone » Sun 16 Dec 2012, 20:57

The original post has been updated to include the new information. [:)]
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Re: How to Add/Insert/Type Special Characters

Post by Tabithda » Mon 17 Dec 2012, 09:21

This site is a useful online keyboard of sorts for typing IPA characters.
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Re: How to Add/Insert/Type Special Characters

Post by conlangconstructor » Tue 18 Dec 2012, 06:46

Am I the only person who uses ALT + code to type IPA? It takes a while to remember them, but I've memorized most of the ones I use the most. I find it incredibly easy and it works for me on Windows 7 with most programs that I use.

Simply hold down ALT and type the numbers listed below. For example to render [ɑ]: hold down ALT and type 593 on the Numpad.

I get the codes from this website or Wikipedia. They are HTML entity codes without the &# before them.

Vowels:
Spoiler:
i
y
ɨ - 616
ʉ - 649
ɯ - 623
u
ɪ - 618
ʏ - 655
ɪ̈ - 618 + 776
ʊ̈ - 650 + 776
ʊ - 650
e
ø - 0248
ɘ - 600
ɵ - 629
ɤ - 612
o
e̞ - e + 798
ø̞ - 0248 + 798
ə - 601
ɚ - 602
ɤ̞ - 612 + 798
o̞ - o + 798
ɛ - 603
œ - 0156, 156, 339
ɜ - 604
ɝ - 605
ɞ - 606
ʌ - 652
ɔ - 596
æ - 0230
ɐ - 592
a
ɶ - 630
ä - a + 776
ɑ - 593
ɒ - 594
Pulmonic consonants:
Spoiler:
m
ɱ - 625
n
ɳ - 627
ɲ - 626
ŋ - 331
ɴ - 628

p
b
t
d
ʈ - 648
ɖ - 598
c
ɟ - 607
k
g
q
ɢ - 610
ʡ - 673
ʔ - 660

ɸ - 632
β - 946
f
v
θ - 952
ð - 240
s
z
ʃ - 643
ʒ - 658
ʂ - 642
ʐ - 656
ɕ - 597
ʑ - 657
ç - 231
ʝ - 669
x
ɣ - 611
χ - 967
ʁ - 941
ħ - 295
ʕ - 661
ʜ - 668
ʢ - 674
h
ɦ - 614

ʋ - 651
ɹ - 633
ɻ - 635
j
ɰ - 624

ɾ - 638
ɽ - 637
ɢ̆ - 610 + 774
ʡ̯ - 673 + 815

ʙ - 665
r
ɽ͡r - 637 + 865 + r
ʀ - 640

ɬ - 620
ɮ - 622

l
ɭ - 621
ʎ - 654
ʟ - 671

ɺ - 634
Non-pulmonic consonants:
Spoiler:
Clicks:
ʘ - 664
ǀ - 448
ǃ - 451
ǂ - 450
ǁ - 449

Implosives:
ɓ - 595
ɗ - 599
ʄ - 644
ᶑ - 7569
ɠ - 608
ʛ - 667

Ejectives
Consonant + 700
pʼ - p + 700
Affricates
Spoiler:
First consonant + 865 + Second consonant
t͡s - t + 865 + s
Co-articulated consonants
Spoiler:
ʍ - 653
w
ɥ - 613
ɧ - 615
Diacritics
Spoiler:
Letter + diacritic_code

n + 609 = n̩
a + i + 815 = ai̯

ˈ (primary stress mark) - 712
ˌ (secondary stress mark) - 716
ː (length mark) - 720
ˑ (half length) - 721
ʼ (ejective) - 700
ʴ (rhotacized) - 692
ʰ (aspirated) - 688
ʱ (breathy-voice aspirated) - 689
ʲ (palatalized) - 690
ʳ - 691
ʵ - 693
ʶ - 694
ʷ (labialized) - 695
ʸ - 696
ˠ - (velarized) - 736
ˡ (lateral release) - 737
ˢ - 738
ˤ (pharyngealized) - 740
˞ (rhotacized) - 734

n̥ (voiceless below) - 805
ŋ̊ (voiceless above) - 778
b̤ (breathy voiced) - 804
t̪ (dental) - 810
s̬ (voiced) - 812
b̰ (creaky voiced) - 816
t̺ (apical) - 826
t̼ (linguolabial) - 828
t̻ (laminal) - 827
t̚ (no audible release) - 794
ɔ̹ (more rounded) - 825
ɛ̃ (nasalized) - 771
ɔ̜ (less rounded) - 796
e̟ (advanced) - 799
e̞ (retracted) - 798
ë (centralized) - 776
z̴ (velarized/pharyngealized) - 820
e̽ (mid-centralized) - 829
e̝ (raised) - 797
n̩ (syllabic) - 809
ð̞ (lowered) - 798
ʊ̯ (non-syllabic) - 815
e̘ (advanced tongue root) - 792
e̙ (retracted tongue root) - 793
ŭ (extra short) - 774
a̋ (extra high tone) - 779
á (high tone) - 769
ā (mid tone) - 772
à (low tone) - 768
ȁ (extra low tone) - 783
x͜x (tie bar below) - 860
x͡x (tie bar above) - 865

↓ - 8595
↑ - 8593
→ - 8594
↗ - 8599
↘ - 8600
Tone letters:
Spoiler:
˥ - 741
˦ - 742
˧ - 743
˨ - 744
˩ - 745
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Re: How to Add/Insert/Type Special Characters

Post by Creyeditor » Tue 18 Dec 2012, 20:35

conlangconstructor wrote:Am I the only person who uses ALT + code to type IPA?
No you aren't [;)]
Thanks a lot [:)]
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Re: How to Add/Insert/Type Special Characters

Post by Iron » Thu 20 Dec 2012, 19:03

I simply installed the United States International keyboard settings and memorized all the codes. Not too hard.
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Re: How to Add/Insert/Type Special Characters

Post by thetha » Fri 21 Dec 2012, 04:06

I use the website http://www.typeit.org/ for all of my IPA typing. I'm pretty sure it has all of the standard symbols and diacritics available.
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Re: How to Add/Insert/Type Special Characters

Post by nmn » Sun 03 Mar 2013, 12:26

How to use the code point codes that appear in wikipedia? They have the form U+1234 where 1234 are any hex numbers.
More specifically, I'm wondering how to make use of these combining characters - simply copy-pasting them won't work, since they come with a space there.
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Re: How to Add/Insert/Type Special Characters

Post by Ànradh » Mon 04 Mar 2013, 13:05

nmn wrote:How to use the code point codes that appear in wikipedia? They have the form U+1234 where 1234 are any hex numbers.
More specifically, I'm wondering how to make use of these combining characters - simply copy-pasting them won't work, since they come with a space there.
I use Wikipedia to find out the name of the character, then type 'combining <character>' into Google. You tend to get a Unicode database appearing that gives multiple methods of input.
I would reccomend this method over actually searching the database itself, as this tends to work less well.
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Re: How to Add/Insert/Type Special Characters

Post by Ossicone » Mon 04 Mar 2013, 15:49

I've been meaning to add a section on alt codes. But I've been hesitant to do so. Firstly, I can't test them out on my computer. Secondly, I remember them being inconsistent across machines when I did use them. And finally, I think they're outmoded.
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Re: How to Add/Insert/Type Special Characters

Post by Fanael » Thu 11 Apr 2013, 13:01

Ossicone wrote:The Microsoft Keyboard Layout Creator - Additional Instructions - These keyboards cannot be installed in Windows 8.
This is untrue. Source: I installed one right now.
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Re: How to Add/Insert/Type Special Characters

Post by Ossicone » Thu 11 Apr 2013, 13:51

Fanael wrote:
Ossicone wrote:The Microsoft Keyboard Layout Creator - Additional Instructions - These keyboards cannot be installed in Windows 8.
This is untrue. Source: I installed one right now.
Cool. I'll fix it right now.
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