Easy access to special characters


New Member
So I would really, dearly, sincerely like to know if there isn't an easier, more intuitive way to access special characters than the ludicrously arcane alt+0xxx combinations Microsoft invites you to accept (did they have robot users in mind when they decided that was a good design decision?). This may seem like a petty thing to get worked up about, but really if you work with text and language all day like I do, it makes a huge difference. I actually often find myself switching to an instance of Linux running in VirtualBox to do formatting-intensive writing rather than endure the Windows way of doing things. Ideally I would just like to adopt the keyboard layout you get in Debian Linux (e.g., alt + hyphen = n dash, alt + shift + hyphen = m dash; and so on), but if that ain't possible, I'm willing to do some manual tweaking to get things done. So what I'm looking for is a system-wide fix to set these keyboard shortcuts:

alt gr + hyphen = n dash

alt gr + shift + hyphen = m dash

alt gr + v = left double quote

alt gr + b = right double quote

alt gr + shift + v = left single quote

alt gr + shift + b = right single quote

alt gr + < = left guillemet

alt gr + > = right guillemet

Is there some way of doing this?


Windows Forum Team
Staff member
Premium Supporter
Any keyboard can be macro programed within Windows:
1. Software like http://www.nch.com.au/fastfox/index.html?gclid=CPCO4YXbssMCFVckvQodj0cAyw
2. Many of the gaming keyboards/ mouse sets have it as a built in tool as well eg.http://www.microsoft.com/hardware/en-au/d/sidewinder-x6-keyboard stores upto 72 macros
3. I just use the touch keyboard built into windows 8 when I want to do this sort of stuff but thats not very offen.

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