Windows: How to write special characters without going crazy

Anyone who has ever used a Mac knows that Apple’s handling of this is much smoother, as you can type a wide range of special characters with combinations of Shiftand Altkeys. On a Mac, for example, it’s pretty easy to type characters like fler ® © and many more that are much more cumbersome on Windows. This also applies to letters with accents of various kinds that are not available in Swedish (or the language your keyboard uses), which ô or ñ.

Special characters

The most common tip for this is to learn different alt codes, for example Alt0241 for ñ or Alt0153 for . But it is not directly flexible and difficult to learn more than a few by heart.

A more practical way if you do not need special characters very often is to start the program Character set (which you do by pressing the search tool to the right of the Start button and typing the program name). Here you can see all the characters that are included in different fonts, with Arial as standard. Locate the character you need and drag it from the Character Set to the application where you want to use it. Alternatively, you can double-click the character, click Copy and then paste in the correct place.

If you want to emulate how it works on Mac, there is also a way to do it. You need the program Autohotkey and this script. In newer versions of Autohotkey we have experienced that you may need to change the code on line two from “! VKC0SC029 :: Return” to “! VKC0 :: Return” for it to work. The script is adapted for American keyboards but works with Swedish, even if it is unnecessary for accents, for example. The tip originally comes from Aaron Gustafson which also describes how to get it running automatically when Windows starts.