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Können Sie Deutsch Schreiben? Typing German Accents and German Words

Updated on July 21, 2011
Typing German accents and German words.
Typing German accents and German words. | Source

Typing German accents and German words is possible with a standard U.S. keyboard. This is especially useful if you do research on your German ancestor, write articles about World War II, or correspond with businesses or friends in Germany. Your keyboard can even handle special characters such as umlauts, through the following Windows procedures.

© 2011 by Aurelio Locsin


The fastest way of typing German accents and German words is to press the CTRL and SHIFT keys, the colon (:) key and the letter that requires the umlaut. For example, to type an “ä”, press the CTRL and SHIFT keys, the colon (:) and the letter “a.” This method only works in word processors or text boxes that accept special characters. For example, it works in WordPad and Microsoft Word, but not in NotePad. However, this method cannot create the Eszett (ß).

ALT key

Another way of typing German accents and German words is to use ALT codes. You press the ALT key and while holding it down, one of the following numbers on the numeric keypad. (This will not work if you use the number keys on the first row of the alphanumeric keypad area.)

Letter Key
ä 132
Ä 142
ö 148
Ö 153
ß 225
ü 129
Ü 154

Activating the German Language Keyboard for Typing German Accents and German Words

If long documents require typing German accents and German words, you may prefer to temporarily turn your keyboard into the German version. This enables you to type German characters in Windows 7 with just one or two key presses.

1. Click the Start button and choose “Control Panel,” “Clock, Language and Region” and “Change Keyboards or Other Input Methods” under Region and Language. The Region and Language dialog box is displayed.

2. Click the “Keyboards and Languages” tab, if it is not already chosen. Click the “Change Keyboards” button to show the Text Services and Input Language dialog.

3. Click the “Add” button, if German does not show as an installed service. The “Add Input Language” dialog box is displayed.

4. Choose a language variant such as German (Germany), and a variety of the language underneath it, such as “German.”

5. Click the “OK” button to close the Add Input dialog box. The “DE” icon appears next to “German” in the Installed Services box. (This abbreviation stands for “Deutsch,” which is how the Germans call their language.) Click the “OK” button twice to close the Tex Services and Input Languages dialog box, and the Region and Language dialog box.

The “EN” icon for “English” is displayed on the right side of your taskbar. Click the icon and choose “DE (German)” to activate the German language keyboard.

Using the German Language Keyboard

Windows layout for German keyboard.
Windows layout for German keyboard.

The picture shows what keys to press for typing German accents and German words. For example, to enter “ä”, press the apostrophe (‘) key. To access the original showing on the key, press the ALT key and then the letter. For example, to type an apostrophe (‘), press the ALT key and then the apostrophe key.

You are now capable of typing German accents and German words in all situations.


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    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 

      4 years ago from Germany and Philippines

      Thanks God I have a German CP and laptop and I don´t have to give an effort in learning but still I am, as I need this when I´m in another countries internet cafes. Thanks for this very useful and informative hub. Have a great day!

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Just like your primer on French and Spanish accents and words, this is useful and interesting. Voting it those as well as up. Thanks!

    • Pinkchic18 profile image

      Sarah Carlsley 

      6 years ago from Minnesota

      Very helpful hub here! I speak and type german but it's nice to have these shortcuts :) very nice!

    • bizwin profile image

      Christabel Evans 

      6 years ago from England, UK

      This is the best information about this topic that i've found so far. I speak and write german language. My husband once traveled to Germany and came back with a laptop which has different alphabets when typed, but the keyboards was a normal one, so i presume now this is what they did to change the letters. Great hub, alocsin.

    • alocsin profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Orange County, CA

      Thanks for stopping by.

    • vox vocis profile image


      6 years ago

      Great information in this hub! I use the German language keyboard, which is just as functional for English, but presents me a problem when I write emails in Italian :)


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