How to Type Diacritical Alphabets / Special Characters RRS feed

  • General discussion

  • Dear,

    I am looking for the solution of following issues in MS Word and Excel 2007 Onward Applications:

    Our group members currently working in typing English articles on different chapters / topics and we are currently facing some problem with the same.

    We seek your kind help for the solution of following issues that are being faced currently:

    How to set the diacritical alphabets / special characters on your keyboard keys e.g. if I want to type Ā, then i just use the following command to type the same.

    How it is possible that I can easily type the special characters / diacritical alphabets with one combination only i.e. "Alt + a" for lower case alphabet e.g. ā & "Alt+Shift+a" for upper case e.g. Ā, using the keyboard in U.S language.

    Is there any option / add-in in MS Word / MS Excel that gives me solution of drop down option / suggestions of the word(s) to be typed.

    - Spell check option with accurate suggestion(s) of diacritical words to be made available.

    Seeking the solution of above matters anxiously.

    Kamran Damji
    Friday, March 7, 2014 12:53 PM

All replies

  • See: http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/word-help/keyboard-shortcuts-for-international-characters-HP005186562.aspx. These keyboard shortcuts are easily learnt. Other than that, the only built-in solutions are:
    1. Use Insert|Symbol to select the character;
    2. Input the Hex character code, followed by Alt-x;
    3. Input the ASCII character code via the numeric keypad whilst holding down the Alt key.

    Spell-checking results will largely depend on whether you're using the correct language setting for the words containing these characters.

    Paul Edstein
    [MS MVP - Word]

    Friday, March 7, 2014 9:24 PM
  • Dear Mr. Paul,

    Thanks for your swift response.

    Please let me know the following:

    - Some of the special characters are not in the MS Word symbol directory, how to install and use them.

    - Furthermore, there are around 200 peoples who shall be following the procedure of setting the special characters on their keyboard, is there any easy way i.e. to develop .exe and to be shared with everyone?


    - Special Characters currently I am using is related to Arabic Language. However, is there any possibility of spell-checking results, if our group type all the available words of special characters copy them in the custom dictionary of the MS Word for better spell check results.

    Your kind response will be highly appreciated.


    Saturday, March 8, 2014 5:45 AM
  • The symbols that are available when you go to Insert|Symbol depends on what font you have selected when you open that dialogue or what other font you choose from the Fonts dropdown.

    I cannot see how developing an exe file would help - your users would still have to activate it and choose the desired character(s). A possible solution would be for you to create a series of Autotext entries for the symbols you require then distribute those to your users. See:

    For the spell-checking, you should use an appropriate Paragraph Style or Character Style for the Arabic text, with the Style's language set to the appropriate Arabic dialect, and make sure that Style is applied to the text in question. You will also need to have the same Arabic dialect installed as a Proofing Language (see File|Options>Language).

    Paul Edstein
    [MS MVP - Word]

    Saturday, March 8, 2014 6:37 AM