Thursday, February 1, 2007

Allchars: A simple solution for special language characters

The Norwegian alphabet has three special characters that are not used by the English alphabet. They are æ, ø, and å. Typing these characters on a U.S. keyboard can be difficult. In the past, I would use the numeric keypad to type out the ASCII character code for each letter -- a tedious process that required memorizing six three-digit codes, one for each lowercase and uppercase letter. But these days, I type using a laptop keyboard, which does not have a numeric keypad.

Enter a great little freeware utility called Allchars. I found this program this evening, and it works like a charm. To type a special character, all you have to do is press and release the Ctrl key, followed by two characters. For example, you can call up the "å" character by simply pressing Ctrl followed by "o" and "a."

The author of the program is Jeroen Laarhoven of Zwolle, Netherlands. Great job, Jeroen ... and thanks for making it available for free!