There are several ways of generating accented characters, such as ä, ö and ü in the Windows environment. The oldest method and the one that works in all programs is the alt-key approach. Here are the steps to follow when using a Windows PC with a full keyboard (not a laptop).
1. On the right-hand side of your keyboard you will find a set of keys with numbers and arrows on them. This is the number keypad. Above the keypad are three LEDs (lights). Check whether the Num Lock light is on. If it isn't, press the Num Lock key on the number keypad once and the light should go on.
2. With your left hand, press down the alt key and keep it pressed. You will find it to the left of the space bar on your keyboard.
3. With your right hand, type the following set of four digits on the keypad. Don't release the alt key yet: 0228
4. Release the alt key. If you are in a text program such as Word or Notepad, a lowercase a with an umlaut will appear: ä.
Here are the 4-digit codes for all the vowels with umlaut in German:
0196: Ä (uppercase A with umlaut)
0214: Ö (uppercase O with umlaut)
0220: Ü (uppercase U with umlaut)
0228: ä (lowercase a with umlaut)
0246: ö (lowercase o with umlaut)
0252: ü (lowercase u with umlaut)
There are also 3-digit codes for generating vowels with umlaut using the alt key:
142: Ä (uppercase A with umlaut)
216: Ö (uppercase O with umlaut)
154: Ü (uppercase U with umlaut)
132: ä (lowercase a with umlaut)
148: ö (lowercase o with umlaut)
129: ü (lowercase u with umlaut)
There are other ways of generating vowels with umlaut. For example, in Word, you can use the shortcut method:
Ctrl+:,Shift+A: Ä (uppercase A with umlaut)
Ctrl+:,Shift+O: Ö (uppercase O with umlaut)
Ctrl+:,Shift+U: Ü (uppercase U with umlaut)
Ctrl+:,A: ä (lowercase a with umlaut)
Ctrl+:,O: ö (lowercase o with umlaut)
Ctrl+:,U: ü (lowercase u with umlaut)
Or you could simply use the Insert/Symbol approach in Word. Go to Insert, then Symbol, and find the characters you want in the grid.
You can also change the keyboard language to German and type in the accented vowels that way. However, you would have to be familiar with the QWERTZ layout of the German keyboard.
Some people prefer to use Character Map or some similar utility which presents a grid of characters that you can click on to select the one that you want. This can be a simple solution for laptop users as the laptop keyboard doesn't come with a number keypad as standard.
· 8 years ago