1. rtotheich's Avatar
    Hello all.

    I was lucky enough to get a Surface Pro 128GB on launch day amidst the blizzard I absolutely love the device and haven't had any real issues with it yet! I am, however, struggling with a unique issue: I am a language major and I speak English (natively), French and Spanish. Since I grew up in the states, I have ALWAYS typed on a US keyboard and will not learn a new layout. Being a romance language major, I need to use accents and characters not included in the American layout. I spent a few years mastering the ascii combinations (for instance alt + 0233 on the numpad makes the character). Because of the sleek sexy new touch cover, I no longer have a numpad on the keyboard (even small laptops have the numpad over certain keys while holding fn). I NEED a quick and easy way to type accents on the fly that does not require changing the keyboard layout (i.e. saying set the system language to French is not the answer I am looking for). Or, if anyone knows a homebrew or legacy app that can help with this, that would be much appreciated. Even on OSX mountain lion, you can use accents by holding down vowel keys...

    also, feel free to chime in with questions about the surface! I got the only 128GB in stock at my college town's best buy
    02-09-2013 09:56 PM
  2. RTGent's Avatar
    Hola, rto.... I used the ascii equivalents years ago, but in recent years, I've used the United States-International keyboard option in Windows since at least Vista. I had the RT for six weeks but never got to trying that. I will need this International option on the Pro, for sure. This International keyboard option allows me, using your example, to type by typing the apostrophe followed by the e. (I can provide more specifics if you like; I'm typing this with the International on Windows 7.) I searched and found this link: How to use the United States-International keyboard in Windows 8 - Microsoft Community

    Go to the bottom post on this and consider trying this. If you do, please report back. Thanks and good luck.
    02-09-2013 10:26 PM
  3. rtotheich's Avatar
    RTGent, you are a poweruser among men. I can't believe that I never realized this International input method existed! Here I was memorizing every single unicode combo for every accent I needed! I am very happy that MS preserved this feature on the Surface Pro. Since you have the RT, I cannot say for sure if the layout has been included on the RT version, but it was simple to implement on Pro and consequentially, windows 8. It took me a while to find the actual input layout, since I thought it would be listed as a variant. If any others happen to have this issue:

    1. Open control panel
    2. Go to clock, languages, and region
    3. Click on change input method, then click options
    4. Under input method, click add input method. United States-International is listed a little ways down.
    5. Add the layout and remove the old simple 'US' variant

    Muchas gracias por su ayuda!
    02-09-2013 11:03 PM
  4. RTGent's Avatar
    That's great, rto.., and thanks for the flattery and your help too. I'm saving your post and will use it as soon as I eventually pick up my Pro. I can't believe it myself, especially for a language major; but, now you're set and this should leave you more time to focus on the languages.

    De nada; para servirle.
    02-09-2013 11:33 PM
  5. power5's Avatar
    The onscreen keyboard gives character options by holding the letter. Not sure if that will give a string of letters on the covers.
    02-09-2013 11:47 PM
  6. HoundCat's Avatar
    Or you could always use the Windows Character Map which can be found in the Windows Accessories folder or run charmap from the RUN dialog (WindowsKey+R). If you leave it open you can quickly select and copy extended ascii characters or even a string of them if needed. This has been a life saver for me when using keyboards (physical or virtual) that don't have a number keypad and/or ALT key. The character map applet has been around since Win9x and is still bundled with current versions of Windows twenty or so years later.

    Another option would be to use the Windows On-screen Keyboard, which is in the Ease of Access folder. This keyboard is a full keyboard with Windows keys, context menu key, ctrl, alt, fn, and more. It will provide a quick tutorial on first run and has help available as well.

    I hope this helps you in your endeavors as you may encounter and use different input methods (remote access, remote keyboard/mouse through mobile devices, Touch Keyboard, etc.)
    03-18-2016 02:01 AM

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