27

There are already many questions about typing the € symbol on keyboards where it is not one of the keycaps.

Unless I have missed one of them, the answers fall into several categories:

  1. Alt+E, which works on European keyboard layouts, maybe even UK English layouts, but not the US English layout.
  2. Pressing the AltGr key together with some key, usually also E from memory.
  3. Holding down the Alt key, then typing the Unicode hexadecimal codepoint for the symbol on the numeric keypad while holding the Alt key, and then releasing it.

But

  1. won't work because in Australia we use the US English layout and there are no symbols mapped to any Alt-key combinations.
  2. won't work because my HP ProBook 430 came with a US keyboard, and US keyboards have no AltGr key.
  3. won't work because the HP ProBook 430 is a nice small portable size and doesn't have a numeric keypad.

Yes I can install a different keyboard layout, but those move around many symbols programmers use and I'm a touch-typist so it would slow me down considerably.

Is there no other method I've missed among the other answers? Will I have to stick to cut-and-pasting the € symbol in Windows?

  • 35
    “US keyboards have no "Alt Gr" key” Oh, but they do. It’s the right Alt key. – Daniel B Nov 24 '19 at 11:23
  • 22
    On Windows Alt Gr can be emulated via Ctrl+ Alt - see en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AltGr_key#Control_+_Alt_as_a_substitute – Robert Nov 24 '19 at 12:29
  • 13
    @hippietrail: It's really just a matter of OS-level keyboard layouts. There is no distinct scancode for AltGr on PC keyboards, so it is literally the same as "right Alt". – user1686 Nov 24 '19 at 12:46
  • 5
    Regarding "Alt E , which works on European keyboards, maybe even British, but not US." - 1. Alt+e opens the active program's Edit menu in almost all situations. 2. there's no single "European keyboard" layout. 3. My Spanish keyboard has AltGr+e as the € symbol, and my UK keyboard has € on AltGr+4 – Aaron F Nov 25 '19 at 12:18
  • 5
    It's not Alt+E, it's Ctrl+Alt+E. It's just that right alt happens to be Ctrl+Alt, so right alt + E gives you €, while left alt + E gives you nothing (since alt + key isn't supposed to "type" anything). "Alt Gr" is a common label on some non-US keyboards, but the only distinction is left vs. right alt, where some US physical keyboards use the same scancode for both, so they're indistinguishable. Windows allows you to use Ctrl + Alt to simulate a right alt press, which is equivalent to "Alt Gr". Keyboard layouts do not affect this, it's all about the scancodes from the physical keyboard. – Luaan Nov 25 '19 at 14:03

10 Answers 10

34

Looking for a picture of an HP ProBook 430 which showed a keyboard large enough to read the keys well, I found this image: https://www.notebookcheck.net/fileadmin/Notebooks/HP/ProBook_430-G1/ttastatur.jpg

It shows an Fn key between the Ctrl key (actually called Strg in this picture, since the picture shows a German version) and the Start ("Windows" logo) key. Hold that down, and then the picture shown indicates M, J, U, 7 correspond to Numpad 0, 1, 4, and 7. So, there is a way to use a Numpad by holding down Fn.

Try holding down Alt and pressing 0128 on the numpad. So, to do that on this computer, hold down Alt, then hold down Fn, and press M. Then, release Fn and hold down Fn again, and press J. Then, release Fn and hold down Fn again, and press K. Then, release Fn, and hold down Fn again, and press 8. Then release Fn. Finally, release Alt. (Yes, you should hold Alt down the entire time.)

If that works well, you may wish to try again by just holding Alt, holding Fn, and typing MJK8 (without needing to keep releasing Fn), and then just release Fn and then Alt in the end.

  • 4
    Well just using Fn with the letter keys did not cause numbers to be entered so I was not hopeful, but trying both the more complex and less complex sequences of keys actually did work! ALT+FN together then MJK8 then relase ALT+FN: € – hippietrail Nov 24 '19 at 12:47
  • 4
    That's the numpad on laptops without a numpad on the right. See What are these “extra” punctuations on my keyboard and how to use them. There'll also be a numlock button if the laptop has such a numpad (in this case it's in the same key as "rollen" so just press Fn+rollen) which after activated inverts the keys' behavior and allows you to press the numbers without Fn. Unfortunately a few new laptops lines drop the numpad completely – phuclv Nov 25 '19 at 2:44
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    "foreign language version" - the picture shows a German keyboard. "Strg" abbreviates "Steuerung", which is exactly the German word for "control". – rexkogitans Nov 25 '19 at 9:28
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    There's no reason to release the [Fn] key. Its a modifier key like Shift or Ctrl, not an "action" key that dictates the beginning or end of a command. – Draco18s no longer trusts SE Nov 25 '19 at 17:15
  • 1
    Not all laptops have the “replacement numpad” in this style; for example, mine does not. Which is certainly obnoxious, but true – KRyan Nov 26 '19 at 16:24
55

Yes there is!

You can find all kinds of symbols, including the euro symbol, on the Emoji picker.

  1. Go to where you want to enter the symbol
  2. Hit WIN+. or WIN+; on your keyboard
  3. Navigate to the Symbols tab (Ω)
  4. Navigate to the Currency Symbols tab ($)
  5. And select the euro symbol. (you might have to scroll once)

This should work in every application accepting keyboard input. After doing this a few times the symbol will show up under "Most Recently Used" as well.

Note that the symbol tab got added in version 1903; if you only get the emojis, consider updating.

  • 3
    Well this is not handy for typing but it is certainly hand for hunt-and-peck and I did not know about it. So even though it's easier to use than TOOGAM's answer, his is closer to what I asked, so you get an upvote but not the accept (-: – hippietrail Nov 24 '19 at 13:03
  • 1
    @hippietrail Don't worry about it! I only realized that a good half hour after I posted this. Tons of people don't know about this feature so I figured I might as well leave it up :) – MMM Nov 24 '19 at 14:13
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    @MMM I'm an insider and always use the pre-release versions so I've used that for years. What I meant is that you can't switch to the symbol and kaomoji tab by keyboard, and the search feature also doesn't work for symbols – phuclv Nov 25 '19 at 8:02
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    This solution works for any Windows 10 computer with a keyboard, while the accepted one is only valid for a certain kind of laptop. – walen Nov 25 '19 at 8:07
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    I've discovered this shortcut by accident by locking my computer (Win+L) and fat-fingering the . or ;. Took me a good while to figure out why I had an emoji picker while my screen was locked. – Draco18s no longer trusts SE Nov 25 '19 at 17:11
21

I use AutoHotKey for this. You can use it for endless customisation but I started using it mainly to get the € and £ symbols on a US keyboard.

https://www.autohotkey.com/

Just create a script with the following, set it to run at startup (Win+R, shell:startup, drop a link to your script in there), and you can then use Ctrl+Shift+4 to get the €. You can remap this to whatever you like, that's just what I picked as that's where the $ is. You can put it on E or whatever if you prefer.

#SingleInstance force

^+4::
   Send, €
Return

It does require additional software but it's easier than the other methods IMO, and if you get into AutoHotKey you may end up using it to create all sorts of other shortcuts, it's very powerful.

  • 1
    This is actually what could be most useful, since it can basically replace any key combination. Good find. It's also better than the picked answer because remembering an arbitrary number combination every time I want to use €, ß, ½ or some other symbol is really hard but just putting it on the space where you're used to it is just muscle memory. – John Hamilton Nov 25 '19 at 10:17
  • If you use this approach, make sure you copy and paste the code. If you type it out, you are back to the original problem of typing the Euro symbol. By the way, I am using a Windows 10 desktop with what I think is a US keyboard. By the way, some of the keyboard combinations are software dependent. For example, Alt-Ctrl-e works in Wordpad, but not in Notepad and not in an html textarea. Alt-0128 seems to work everywhere. – Dan Bracuk Nov 25 '19 at 19:47
  • 1
    +1 for an AHK solution. Another option is to open up a modal box when pushing shift 4, with options on which variant you want, this can save you from having lots of key combinations being taken up. InputBox, SingleKey, Choose Currency Symbol, $(1) `€(2) `£(3) if(SingleKey = 1) { Send, $ } else if(SingleKey = 2) { Send, € } else if(SingleKey = 3) { Send, £ } – Aequitas Nov 26 '19 at 5:58
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    @DanBracuk Alt-Ctrl-e is a Microsoft Word specific shortcut. Alt-0128 will work anywhere but the 0128 HAS to be entered specifically on the numeric keypad, you can't do Alt-0128 on the number row. Most laptops don't have numeric keypads, hence the problem. AHK will work system-wide in every app. – Ivan McA Nov 26 '19 at 9:30
  • 1
    @DanBracuk You don't really have to type in the euro symbol, you can search for it online and copy paste it into the config file. – John Hamilton Nov 27 '19 at 11:19
10

Win+R (Run) and then enter charmap and enter.

Character map

7

Have you tried activating the international English keyboard layout?

It's AltGr+5 on this keyboard:

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/globalization/windows-keyboard-layouts#

select "United States-International"

  • 4
    I would write "installing" the international layout rather than "activating". I forgot what I didn't like about it but it's all flooding back. " and ' are dead keys. I like them on Spanish layouts but when they do double duty as dead-diaeresis/double quote and dead-acute/apostrophe/single quote you press either key once you get nothing and when you press it twice you get two of the same character. This is a nightmare for a coder. I could install normal US and international US and switch every time I need to type € but I'm not convinced that's any better than TOOGAM's solution... – hippietrail Nov 24 '19 at 13:00
  • 1
    Then your only hope is Alt+numpad, or building yourself a custom keyboard map with MSKLC (I use one for french to have access to upper case accented letters; it works with W10) – Michel de Becdelièvre Nov 24 '19 at 18:38
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    The question says there is no AltGr on the machine in question. – Lightness Races in Orbit Nov 24 '19 at 19:31
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    @hippietrail if you don't have too many languages/layouts, it's just altshift or ctrlshift to switch. – Džuris Nov 24 '19 at 23:40
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    @Lightness Races with Monica: With the layout set to US-International, the right Alt key usually functions as AltGr. If it doesn't, or if there's no right Alt, Windows will interpret Ctrl+Alt as AltGr – rchard2scout Nov 25 '19 at 0:19
7

Someone else suggested autohotkey, but I think it's worth mentioning the excellent WinCompose project, that gives you full compose-key functionality (e.g. I can type compose+c+= or compose-e++ to get € (it's a little like a C with an = on top of it, after all, or an E with an =)) on Windows. It provides a much easier to use (in my opinion) interface than autohotkey; it's just the traditional .XCompose file (which can, of course, be edited to your liking to add whatever compose sequences you like). Plus it comes preloaded with all the basic compose sequences.

You can map the compose key to a number of different keys on the keyboard that don't see much use. I have mine mapped to the windows key, since I don't use the shortcuts on that key and it's a convenient location, but you can also map it to things like scroll lock or pause/break that I'm pretty sure no one has ever pressed since before the 90s.

I have no affiliation with the wincompose project, I just like it a lot and think more people should know it exists.

  • I use WinCompose all the time. It's modeled after the Compose functionality which is standard on Linux systems. What I like about it is that the sequences are intuitive enough that I can usually guess what I need to type without having to look it up. For example compose ^ letter will generate the letter with a circumflex accent, compose " letter will generate the letter with an umlaut. – AndyB Nov 27 '19 at 8:38
  • Yeah, I use it too - with a hack so that I can type Compose-u-e to get ü (I'm in Germany, and "ue" is the canonical way to represent ü if you don't have umlauts (eg) because you are using an Enigma machine. – Martin Bonner supports Monica Nov 27 '19 at 16:52
  • Thanks for spreading the word! Note that though WinCompose was initially an AutoHotKey project, for numerous reasons I rewrote it in C# in 2014. – sam hocevar Nov 27 '19 at 21:22
  • @samhocevar Ah, I'll update the answer then! I didn't know it ever stopped being based on autohotkey. – Hearth Dec 1 '19 at 0:41
4

Depending on your keyboard layout, there might be an AltGr key on the on-screen keyboard. Type osk into the search box on the taskbar and then choose "On-Screen Keyboard" from the choices that appear.

With AltGr pressed, the € symbol appears in the top row for me (UK keyboard layout) but not sure where it would appear in other layouts.

The Windows on-screen keyboard with the keys in a dark grey colour. The <kbd>AltGr</kbd> key and the <kbd>NumLock</kbd> key are both highlighted in blue. In the top row, the € symbol is visible

  • 1
    Yes I was using the on-screen keyboard even before I posted the question and nothing caused any extra symbols to show up from the US English keyboard layout as in this image. – hippietrail Nov 25 '19 at 0:12
  • 1
    the onscreen keyboard shows exactly which keys are available in the current layout, so it doesn't help you type the character if the layout doesn't have that character – phuclv Dec 1 '19 at 1:55
3

I use Windows 8 but I'm assuming that Windows 10 has the same (don't have access to a Windows 10 computer at the moment to be able to check).

Go into the start menu and there should be an app called Character Map where you can select a font and get a list of all the accented characters, special characters, etc that are available for the selected font

1

€ - I got that by Ctrl+Alt+E - my keyboard is either English or Spanish - it has the ñ, so it must be Spanish. I don't know if the Control+Alt+E combination will work for you though.

  • 2
    I have an English keyboard, and CTRL-ALT-E gives me this: é – Jimmery Nov 24 '19 at 21:27
  • 1
    @Jimmery: On Windows? Mine gives me nothing at all for CTRL+ALT+E. – hippietrail Nov 24 '19 at 22:00
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    Windows interprets Ctrl+Alt as AltGr in some settings, such as US-International, and apparently also in Spanish. – rchard2scout Nov 25 '19 at 0:21
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    @rchard2scout AltGr is always converted to Ctrl+Alt on Windows so they're equivalent. Can I make Ctrl+Alt NOT act like AltGr on Windows? The answer is NO – phuclv Nov 25 '19 at 2:37
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    To avoid an endless back and forth in the comments here, please note that there is no single "English keyboard" in Windows, but many, such as "English US", "English US International", "English UK". Each of these has symbols in different places, so without specifying which you're using, any details are going to be next to useless to anyone else. – IMSoP Nov 26 '19 at 10:07
0

Some software allows you to input any Unicode characters directly. For example in Libre Office, Word and Wordpad just type the code point followed by Alt+X. So for the Euro € symbol type 20ac then Alt+X

Alternatively you can install the Unicode IME which allows you to type any Unicode characters in any applications

Some other ways can be found in https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Euro_sign#Entry_methods

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