I'm currently typing this post with my windows XP machine and (Spanish) keyboard, and I'd like to add some extra symbols to my text. I could open the "char map" windows utility, look for the desired symbols, and paste them. But I'd like something quickier.

For example, when I'm using my OSX Mac at work, I can easily add a ©, ™, ® or similar symbols, just pressing some weird ALT-GR + G / H / J, key combinations. In my (Spanish) keyboard mapping, these combinations are empty, as they don't produce any char at all, which, on the other hand, is perfectly normal and desirable.

So, I thought: Why couldn't I add some extra key mappings on top of my currently empty ALT-GR + G/J/H Keys in my Spanish keyboard, and thus, being able to quickly type these special symbols?

So that's my question: Is there any utility/method to achieve that effect under windows? (My version is XP).

I've even googled this for some time but no luck.

I've been a long term HotKeyBind user, but even I tried some messing with it, apparently only allows you to add "actions" instead of "symbols typed as normal text". Or at least, I haven't been able to find how to enable "symbol key mapping" with it.


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    Any tools like Autohotkey – Ramhound Dec 31 '13 at 12:07
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    If you turn your light shedding comment onto a proper answer, I'll happily vote you up. AutoHotKey seems to be perfect for my needs :) – Isaac Dec 31 '13 at 12:54

You can use The Microsoft Keyboard Layout Creator, MSKLC, to define the keyboard settings you like, either by editing a standard layout (e.g., Spanish or US) or—usually better—by creating a new layout based on an existing one. You can then switch between layouts with some short key combinations.

It takes about ten minutes to learn to use MSKLC, and then you can easily tune a layout to contain the characters that you need frequently. And you can decide which combinations you use, so that they are easy to remember, like AltGr A for @, AltGr R for ®, etc.

  • Even though MSKLC seems a bit denser than AutoHotKey (which already served well for my purposes), MSKLC seems an AMAZING piece of software. As soon as I have some free time I'll give MSKLC a chance. Thanks!! BTW: I'm always surprised of the big amount of nice programs, (many virtually unknown), available on the MS chaotic web. – Isaac Dec 31 '13 at 15:03

Navigate to:

Insert > Symbols > Choose the symbol you want

For instance "ñ" and hit "Shortcut Key" button, and either you accept the current one, change it, or define it. Then you must remember to save the Normal.dot template. I use the English International KB, and for the "ñ" I use "Alt+n, for "¡" I use the AltGr+!, as well as for "¿" I use AltGr+?, and of course the accents are automatic (apostrophe + vowel).

  • I was already using a Spanish keyboard, which means I was already able to natively add many symbols all over my vowels and other letters. Of course I knew I could use the clumsy, specially slow and inefficient "insert symbol" method. But what I really wanted (and finally achieved with AHK) was just adding absurd symbols all over strange letters which normally can't be added. For example: ś,ć,x², ∫x∂x, etc... With AHK I just programmed some new key combinations, and problem solved. Besides, all this, without using the mouse (yuck!!) and without stopping my otherwise fast typing-workflow. – Isaac Mar 18 '14 at 0:22

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