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Typing German letters with an American keyboard

edited June 2013 in German
Guten Morgen!  After many tries, I finally figured out how to type German letters not found in English with my American keyboard.

Ä (hold down the Alt key and type 0196)
ä (Alt 0228)
Ö (Alt 0214)
ö (Alt 0246)
Ü (Alt 0220)
ü (Alt 0252)
ß (Alt 0223)

Ich hoffe, das mein Liste Ihnen hilft :-)


  • Hi Grace, looks like really thorough research. I had no idea that these possibilities existed. 

    Personally, I use two methods to get the German letters into a document: if you use Microsoft Word you can choose to insert a symbol into your text. You will find the German letters there among hundreds of other choices. 

    My personal favorite is my own German keyboard that I installed (I'm using Windows) for both of our computers. 

    Go to your Control Panel, click on change keyboard or other input methods.  Go to change keyboards and add a German keyboard to your existing American keyboard. You can switch back and forth between keyboards by pressing the Shift and Alt keys together.  

    Good luck and let me see what you are writing.  Yours, Peter

  • Ich habe die Tastatur gefunden!  But now I have to remember the locations of ö, ä, ü, ß.  Z and y are also switched.  I know for sure that you can have a little keyboard on the screen for the Chinese keyboard.  Is there such an option for the German keyboard too?
  • Hi Grace and Peter!
    When I type in other languages, I like to use an on-screen keyboard. In Windows, you open the on-screen keyboard by clicking on the Start button, then go to All Programs, then Accessories, then Ease of Access, then On-Screen Keyboard.  A shortcut I use is to just type "osk" in the Search bar under the Start menu, which brings up the program ("osk.exe"), which when clicked on also opens the On-Screen Keyboard.
    Thank you both for sharing your tips! Typing in another language is one of those small barriers that once overcome makes learning much more enjoyable. 
  • Here are some ASCII codes that will save you a keystroke for each letter:

    ä = alt132

    Remember that the Numlock needs to be ON for these to work.
  • Danke, docboc44! Very helpful.
  • I'm still trying to figure out how to make a curly or a round s in german. Thanks for the tips on the other german letters
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