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How to get French characters on a non French keyboard
by Dave • Mon 06 Feb 2012 12:55
As you begin to type letters and search the web in French the more important it becomes to type the extra characters found in common usage in the French written language.

There's no key on your UK keyboard for these characters so how can you easily type them without resorting to Character Map or copying them from another text? Well here's how: you use the alt key together with the numbers on the numeric keypad on the right-hand side of most keyboards.

Hold down the alt key then keep it down while you press the numbers of the keypad. For example to display the letter é you press and hold the alt key while you type 0 then 2 then 3 then 3 on the numeric keypad.

Below is a the list of the majority of the characters you'll need, together with the code you need to type to get them :-
  • é - Alt + 0233
  • è - Alt + 0232
  • î - Alt + 0238
  • ê - Alt + 0234
  • û - Alt + 0251
  • ç - Alt + 0231
  • â - Alt + 0226
  • ù - Alt + 0249
  • à - Alt + 0224
  • œ - Alt + 0156
  • ô - Alt + 0244
  • € - Alt + 0128
If you need any others just post a request on the forum and then I'll add them in.
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Aug 2004
Re: How to get French characters on a non French keyboard
by virtdave • Wed 08 Feb 2012 19:45
One can also change back and forth between English ('qwerty') and French ('azerty') keyboards in almost all operating systems. In Windows, you can find out how to do this by looking in the systems 'Help', and looking up 'keyboard layout'--it's similar in Ubuntu, and I assume in Apples (tho I've no experience with Macs). In the 'azerty' keyboard, the numbers at the top of the keyboard are replaced by accented French letters--e.g., '2' becomes 'é'--and to type in the number '2', one uses the 'Shift' key (or the numpad).
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Sep 2008
Re: How to get French characters on a non French keyboard
by blaudeix • Wed 08 Feb 2012 20:14
there are some easier than that (perhaps more)

é is ctrl + Alt + e
€ is ctrl + Alt + 4

does anybody know what comination the other slopey e is ?
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Nov 2006
Re: How to get French characters on a non French keyboard
by smilespwp • Thu 09 Feb 2012 09:20
October 2009 I posted this link:


Puts a small toolbar on your screen from which you can choose the characters with accents to insert into your document.

There is also another similar utility by Avisoft posted a few years ago but still available.


Personally, ended up using either the French keyboard selector on Windows or using an Azerty keyboard bought in one of the supermarkets in France.
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Apr 2007
Re: How to get French characters on a non French keyboard
by JulieR • Thu 09 Feb 2012 12:01
I usually just type and then use the spell check (in French) to change to the correct characters! Probably not good for my spelling :)

May 2005
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