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Monday: May 30, 2005

Alt-Code Charts — now with Eth and Thorn!

Filed under: — site admin @ 1:59 PM UTC

I made these up for work a few months ago, and some of you may find them useful. They are charts giving the standard Alt-codes for accented letters that are used in various software packages, for instance Alt-237 (on the number pad) for small I with an acute accent (í) or Alt-159 for capital Y with an umlaut (Ÿ). These charts put the symbols on a grid, with six columns for A, E, I, O, U, and Y, five rows for acute, grave, circumflex, umlaut, and tilde, and three more rows at the bottom for æ, ß, and other symbols that do not fit into the main grid. The letters are in 36 point type so you can hang them on the wall behind your desk and still see them.

Not clear what I mean? Just click on one of the links to see the files. The first chart (DOC or PDF) puts the first five rows in the order that seemed most natural to me, and most likely to anyone else who has taken Greek (probably not a large subset of my readers): acute, grave, circumflex, umlaut, and tilde, in that order. The second chart (DOC or PDF) puts the rows in the order implied by the numerical sequence of Alt-codes: grave, acute, circumflex, tilde, umlaut. This puts alt-192 (À), alt-193 (Á), alt-194 (Â), alt-195 (Ã), and alt-196 (Ä) in numerical order from top to bottom, and the same goes for most of the other columns.

There are gaps on both charts, since not every letter can take every accent, at least in Microsoft world. I take advantage of these gaps by putting Ç ç and Ñ ñ between à ã and Õ õ in the same row. These four symbols are used mostly in modern Romance languages — between them, Spanish and Portuguese use all four —, so they go well together, and they’re even in alphabetical order. Here and in the bottom row, the intrusive consonants are shaded to make them stand out.

As always, the comments are open for suggested additions and corrections. Comments are moderated to filter out spam, so they will not appear until I approve them.

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