On my new laptop, I see the following behavior new to me. If I press, e.g., the "-key, the '"' does not appear immediately. It changes how the next character appears, so "+a becomes ä, "+space becomes ", and so on. I guess, this functionality is called composition (but for me, it does not involve the Compose key)

This behavior is present across all applications. Furthermore, I have no application runing that provides it (like AllChars). Therefore, I guess it comes from the OS, i.e., Windows itself.

Is that right? How to control it? I couldn't find any switches. It is helpful, but some special characters I cannot produce, like the German sz. How to do that?

I have

  • Windows 10 pro, Version 1803
  • an English keyboard
  • Country is Germany, Languages English (en-DE)

Yes, this is built in to Windows, but it's selectable/configurable.

It is likely that your default keyboard layout is set to US-International, rather than English-United States. This supports applying accents to characters, so that you can properly type most Western European languages. The "dead keys" that double as accents are `, ~, ', ", and ^, applying the grave, tilde, acute, umlaut, and circumflex accents respectively. To get the actual character, follow them with space instead of a letter that they can be applied to.

You can get the ß; hold down the right Alt key (which may or may not be marked AltGr), and press s. Note that the recently-defined upper-case ß is not available, however.

(I use this keyboard layout routinely, as I need to do multilingual document processing. I'm quite familiar with it, and can give you any other special characters you might need; just list them in an edit to the question or a comment, and I'll update this answer.)

  • Thanks, that clarified things. Now that I know what to look for, I found useful sites online – Ulrich Scholz Sep 3 '18 at 6:52

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.