I'm used to a German keyboard layout, but want to try using a US-International keyboard to simplify programming.

On Windows 10 I can enter German umlauts (äöü) using the US-International layout (for the normal US layout this does not work) by pressing " followed by aou, but how to enter the ß (sharp s)? "s does not work. I want to avoid switching to the German layout or using Alt-sequences.

  • Not an answer to your question, so a comment, but you want want to consider WinCompose. This allows you to type a rarely used key (eg menu key), and then a sequence of characters to compose another. So for example <compose>a" -> ä. I actually have it set up so that <compose>ae -> ä because a) this much easier to remember if you write German; b) it doesn't involve a shift key. (I have <compose>ea -> æ, for the very rare occasions I need æ). May 13 '19 at 10:15
  • Also note that unlike the US-International keyboard, WinCompose lets you enter capital eszett (ẞ, <compose>SS) in addition to eszett (ß, <compose>ss). (disclaimer: I created WinCompose) May 14 '19 at 14:42

AltGr+s. You could get help in Windows Keyboard Layouts, in particular at United States-International (with AltGr pressed):

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  • 3
    Wow, that is an old piece of microsoft.com. Still has javascript checking for Netscape 4...
    – user1686
    May 13 '19 at 18:51
  • Is there a way to tell this layout to make ' and " no dead keys?
    – Thomas S.
    Sep 24 '19 at 19:06
  • @ThomasS. That would defeat its purpose of the English international keyboard since the accents are used to create non-7bit-ASCII characters. For no dead keys, use the normal English (US) layout. (But then, obviously, you lose the ability to enter the Umlauts with that mechanism.) Mar 24 '20 at 10:53

How do I enter the ß (sharp s)?

ß Right Alts Esszett (sz ligature)

Source Help with Microsoft Keyboards US-International | School of Languages, Cultures, and Race | Washington State University


Personally i use this layout https://eurkey.steffen.bruentjen.eu/

It's basically the US layout with all of the umlauts (and anything else) you might need.

äöüß would be AltGr + a/o/u/s.

  • I'm trying the EurKey layout now and agree, that it is superior to the US-International, especially because ' and " are no dead keys any more. But also - as you mentioned - the German umlauts are more intuitively positioned.
    – Thomas S.
    May 14 '19 at 8:21
  • Unfortunately, it looks that EurKey causes Autohotkey scripts to produce different outputs. :(
    – Thomas S.
    May 14 '19 at 11:55
  • An alternative without dead keys is AltGr-WEur
    – Enno
    Oct 8 at 6:38

I'm used to a German keyboard layout, but want to try using a US-International keyboard to simplify programming.

If your goal is to simplify programming, you might want to check out keyboard layouts that are specifically optimized for programming. For example, the Neo layout makes the important programming symbols easily accessible on layer 3. The Neo layout also optimizes the normal letters for typing German and English texts (including äöüß), but you can also keep the normal letters as qwertz and benefit from Neo's programming support on layer 3.

  1. Make sure keyboard layout is set to English US International( Not simply English US)
  2. For ä, ö and ü.

Press Shift + " keys. Nothing should appear on screen. Now press A and you get ä. Similarly for ö and ü.

Note: Press space if you wanted " (double quotes). So you need to press Shift + " and then space to get a single double quote in International US keyboard.

  1. Use right ALT ( ALT Grp) + S to get ß
  • But Shift+" is already in use for a different purpose. Remember that this is for a programmer!
    – Mr Lister
    May 13 '19 at 8:15
  • Don't you mean ¨ rather than " May 13 '19 at 11:02
  • @mr lister. Well that's how I program anyway
    – Max Payne
    May 13 '19 at 18:25
  • @viktor. I mean use " key to get umlaut. Is there umlaut keyy directly?
    – Max Payne
    May 13 '19 at 18:27
  • @MaxPayne Not on a US keyboard.
    – Mr Lister
    May 13 '19 at 19:12

I'm in the same boat as you and use eurokb as custom keyboard layout. It supports composing additional characters like German umlauts, but also many others like French or Greek characters. The composing sequences largely follow logic, so AltGr-a + : becomes ä, AltGr-o + : becomes ö, . can be used for ȧ and so on.


Microsoft offers a Keyboard Layout Creator application to create own keyboard layouts: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=102134

With that it is easy to derive from an existing layout, e.g. US, and add further key combinations (or modify them), e.g.

  • ß for Ctrl+Alt+S
  • ä for Ctrl+Alt+A
  • ä for Shift+Ctrl+Alt+A ...

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