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ä ë ï ö ü - Umlaut on the Keyboard

Updated: Mar 6

I’m typing away and I’d like to add a letter with an umlaut (two dots sometimes above a vowel)….augh – I know that I can go into the symbol menu to find the a whole array of special characters and letters, but it’s a bit unwieldy.

German Characters, such as Umlauts, on the Keyboard
German Characters, such as Umlauts, on the Keyboard

There has to be an easier way. For me, a keyboard shortcut does the trick. Most characters and symbols have a numeric code. So now I set up a cheat sheet for the letters I use most often. The trick on a PC is to make sure you keep pressing the "Alt” key while you type your number code. So, Alt + 0228 gives you a lower case ä. If any of you have a numeric keypad, make sure the “num lock” is off.

FYI – anyone with a Mac or iPhone can just hold down the letter and a bunch of variants on that letter will show up. So, if you hold down the “a” you’ll get “ä å æ” (and more). This link shows other ways to get special characters on a Mac.

Alternate PC Tip

Depending on what program you’re in, on a PC, you can sometimes use Cntl-Shift : [colon] + your vowel. For example, I can use it in Word. It’s even quicker than the numeric shortcut, but it only sometimes works.

Curious about other characters? You can find the keyboard shortcuts for everything from currency symbols, to characters for other languages, even the infinity symbol ∞ and pi π here.


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