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I want to write in Spanish without having to keep Charmap open! How do I type the Spanish inverted question and exclamation marks?

¡Quiero escribir en Castellano sin usar el charmap! ¿Cómo escribo los signos de interrogación y exclamación?

  • How do I type these characters in Emacs?
  • How do I type them in any general input box in Windows?
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up vote 8 down vote accepted

Answering our own questions is encouraged, so here we go:

In any Windows editor or text box

Source: here

Hold Alt and type a number corresponding to the char code.

To use the decimal Unicode value, prefix the number with a zero, example: Alt 0191

To use the decimal windows code page value, prefix the number with a zero, example: Alt 161

According to source, you can also type the Unicode hex value, but that needs an entry in registry and did not work for me.

  • Inverted question mark (¿):

    • Alt 0191
    • Alt 168
    • Alt +00A1
  • Inverted exclamation mark (­¡):

    • Alt 0161
    • Alt 173
    • Alt +00BF

In Emacs

Source: xahlee's Emacs page.

  1. Inverted question mark (¿):
    • C-x 8 ?
  2. Inverted exclamation mark (­¡):
    • C-x 8 !

You can also use function ucs-insert (M-x ucs-insert or C-x 8 RET) and Emacs will request a hex value to insert the character.

Or set the input method (M-x set-input-method) to ucs and type normally. To insert a Unicode char, type u.

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Looks comprehensive to me, have +1. Mine was a bit brief as I was on the way out of the office and thought it would be better than nothing, hope it helped! – DMA57361 Sep 28 '10 at 17:00
It did! Thanks for your time and for linking to the website. Many thanks ! – Leonel Sep 28 '10 at 20:33

According to this you can type the ¿ character by holding Alt and typing 1,6,8 on the number pad (make sure num lock is on).

This works on a standard UK keyboard on Windows XP running setup as English UK, as that's how I've written the ¿ character both times in this post, and I think should work on other setups as it's the standard entry method for unicode characters.

There might be a faster way if you have a Spanish keyboard and/or language settings, but I don't have any experience of that to be able to comment.

And, unfortunate, I cannot help with how you type the character in to emacs.

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What about the exclamation marks ? – Leonel Sep 28 '10 at 13:24
Alt 173 (Follow link. Enter 'INVERTED EXCLAMATION MARK' in searchbox.) – agporwfnz29 Sep 28 '10 at 13:55

For an Emacs solution, use one of its input methods. For the characters used in Spanish, another possibility is iso-transl, which lets you type C-x 8 ? for ¿, C-x 8 ' a for á, etc.

For an OS solution, you could remap your keyboard to make the characters available through AltGr, dead keys or a Compose key. Windows is a bit lacking here, and in particular doesn't support Compose out of the box. I use AllChars; note that you need Emacs 24 (e.g. downloaded from the EmacsW32 site) as the current stable version doesn't recognize AllChars's “fake” keypresses.

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