Monthly Tip or Trick – Alt Gr revisited

Earlier this year I sent out a tip using Alt Gr and for most of you this was the first time you had ever seen the key. For those of you still uninitiated the Alt Gr key is just to the right of the space bar.

This time we’re going to use the key for its real purpose. Alt Gr stands for Alternative Graphic and it is used, amongst other things, to put accents on letters.

All you need to do is this. Hold down the Alt Gr key and press a e i o u and you will get á é í ó ú. For capital letters you need to hold the shift key down as well.

Here’s where it gets tricky…

To get à è ì ò ù, you need to hold the Ctrl key and ` which is just to the left of the number 1.

To get â ê î ô û you need to hold the Ctrl key and the shift key and ^ which is above the number 6.

To get ã ñ õ you need to hold the Ctrl key and the shift key and ~ which is 3 keys right of the L.

And lastly to get ä ë ï ö ü ÿ you need to hold the Ctrl key and the shift key and :

iPad users.

When using an iPad gently touch the a key and you will see alternative accented a’s. Simply slide you finger to the correct one to type it. It is the same with e, i, o and u, and also consonants like c, n and z.

Go on, have a try!

Diane Atkinson

IT Fairy Godmother

First published May 2006 – updated July 2014

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