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I was asked to look into an issue where the Euro symbol (€) would refuse to be inserted when pressing AltGr+E (the default key combination for the symbol on a German keyboard).

Both in Word and Outlook, pressing the key combination has no effect. The client assured me that the issue is global (affects all applications). Upon first inspection of the notification area, I couldn't spot any applications that I would suspect of causing this.

The E key works just fine otherwise. The AltGr key seems to work as intended as well. Pressing AltGr+M will print a µ for example. So stuck keys are unlikely.

The active keyboard layout is set to German, so that shouldn't be an issue either.

The client told me that it worked just fine in the past and that he already switched keyboards to no effect (and I believe him).

I was only be able to use the system briefly and couldn't troubleshoot the issue further (for today).

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Can you check the character map to make sure that that key combination is indeed set to the Euro symbol in whichever font they're using? (Note: I don't have any experience with a German keyboard, so this may not apply.) – SaintWacko Mar 7 '12 at 19:46
He currently works around the issue by inserting the symbol from the character map. So, in general, it should work. – Oliver Salzburg Mar 7 '12 at 19:50
The character map should show which key combo will insert the character, so you might check to make sure that it hasn't changed for some reason. – SaintWacko Mar 7 '12 at 19:52
up vote 3 down vote accepted

The problem was caused by a telephony client application running on the same computer. I didn't think it could be an issue until I called the client to troubleshoot the issue.

When I asked him to try to type the Euro symbol, suddenly our call ended. When it happened again, I assumed we're on to something.

enter image description here

Sorry for the localized screenshot. The highlighted part says End call:

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OH! thanks! indirectly you helped me find out why my @ symbol wasn't appearing. the @ symbol should appear using AltGr+Q, just as your Euro with E. It was also because i was using a hotkey using Q (Ctrl+Alr+Q) for Winamp, and for some reason that interferes if I wanted to use AltGr+Q. – DiegoDD Dec 10 '12 at 19:39
Another thing, just FYI, i found a way for it to work (before i found out the hotkey problem), what i needed to do was: Press Alt and AltGr at the same time, then release Alt, but without releasing AltGr, then pressing Q gave me the @ symbol!. so in your case, just press E instead of Q, that would be: Alt + AltGr then release Alt, then E. If you can try it, it would be helpful for me, just to find out it can work with other keys than Q, E and euro in your case. – DiegoDD Dec 10 '12 at 19:43

I don't have a keyboard to test this on, but perhaps your keyboard is faulty or that Windows is not reading the key code properly for that key combination. Try downloading a keyboard tester program like this one and seeing if it detects that key combination, and what code the keyboard is returning. Compare it with a setup that you know works, and see if there's any difference.

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