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Transl: How do you write Umlauts and ß on non-German keyboards?

Wie schreibt man Umlaute und ß auf einer US-Tastatur?

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US-Tastatur = non-German keyboard? ;-) –  bjoernz May 31 '11 at 19:34
@bjoernz Nein, mit einer allgemeineren Übersicht wäre ich noch glücklicher, aber wie man es auf einer französischen Tastatur macht, weiß ich inzwischen. –  Phira May 31 '11 at 19:36
mein Kommentar bezog sich eher auf die Übersetzung. Mit anderen Worten: "Wie schreibt man ... auf einer nicht deutschen Tastatur?" wäre vielleicht eine passendere Übersetzung. –  bjoernz May 31 '11 at 19:59

13 Answers 13

up vote 8 down vote accepted

An easy way that requires just a little bit adjusting is using US International layout (it's what I'm using and I love it). There seem to exist different variants: With and without dead keys.

Without dead keys, everything is normal, except you get lots of accented letters with AltGr, e.g., AltGr + s is ß, AltGr + p is ö, AltGr + q is ä and AltGr + y is ü.

With dead keys the layout becomes more powerful since it allows you to combine diacritics with different letters, e.g., the key that creates a " is a dead key and allows you to put dots over lots of letters: äëüïÿẍ. Same for accents ', ^, ~ and `: áàâã. The downside is that for quotes you need to type an extra space and the occasional bug in applications and desktops.

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Sounds good. The default German keyboard layout also has dead keys for accents. –  OregonGhost May 31 '11 at 20:53
@OregonGhost: Yep, that's true. Afair only for ` and ' and maybe ^. US layout is far superior for my line of work though, that's why I use it. US Int gives me the best of both worlds. –  musiKk May 31 '11 at 20:57
I accepted the answer that is the most useful to my situation. Please do not hesitate to vote up other answers that are more useful to you. –  Phira Jun 1 '11 at 11:31
One disadvantage of most US International layouts is that one does not get the proper quotation marks „“–‚‘ easily. –  Debilski Jun 1 '11 at 12:28
@Debilski: To be frank, I don't think of this as much of a problem. In most cases it's 1) better not to care (like Email because of encoding issues) or 2) the application handles this (Word or OOo). But it's a valid point nonetheless. –  musiKk Jun 1 '11 at 19:26

In Windows you can set the Layout to English us (international) and use

AltGr+q == ä

AltGr+y == ü

AltGr+p == ö

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Welcome and thank you for joining. I am sure this will help many people. Do you have a suggestion for ß? –  Ludi Jul 21 at 9:12
I just realised, all information you gave was contained in the accepted answer. In such cases it is expected not to repeat it. If it was I posting the duplicate, I would delete it... –  Ludi Jul 21 at 9:33
Answers that do not fundamentally answer the question may be removed. This includes answers that are duplicates of other answers. If you wish to improve an existing answer, click the edit link beneath it. For more guidance, see How to Answer. –  Loong Jul 23 at 14:38

You can use a html-Inputfield in the browser and the like, enter


(s-z ligature) and after rendering it, transfer it with copy and paste. Of course it is possible to visit Wikipedia Weltmeisterschaft, navigate to Fußball, and copy/paste from there.

Das s in Frakturschrift hat leichte Ähnlichkeiten mit einem f, zumindest hat es eine starke Unterlänge. Das altdeutsche z hat Ähnlichkeit mit einem kl. g, allerdings ist die obere Form links offen. Zusammengezogen ergebaben s und z daher etwas wie das ß.

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Unter Windows ohne die Installation von zusätzlicher Software verwendet man die direkten Codes:

ä Alt-0228
Ä Alt-0196
ö Alt-0246
Ö Alt-0214
ü Alt-0252
Ü Alt-0220
ß Alt-0223
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Ich nehme an das ist UTF-8? –  user unknown Jul 22 at 7:02
Das simuliert einfach den Tastendruck von 'ü' auf einem nicht-deutschen Keyboard. Mit UTF-8 hat das nichts zu tun. Dein Editor kann ein 'ü' in einer Datei im Format UTF-8 abspeichern, oder UTF-16, oder ISO-8859-1 oder Windows codepage 1252 oder als ü in einer 7-bit-ascii html-Datei. –  Steffen Roller Jul 23 at 15:13

Another way to switch to German keyboard layout under Linux

setxkbmap de

and back to yours:

setxkbmap [us,fr,...]

I configured a short cut for this one. This one works on every running X server (99% of Linuxes) without installing/configuring.

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Or, which is the easiest way and quite often used in Germany, too (e.g. when the font doesn't include them, or - only ß - when writing in capital letters):

  • ä = ae
  • ü = ue
  • ö = oe
  • ß = ss


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Under Linux you can use xmodmap to change the layout.

With xkeycaps you can interactively redefine keys and generate commands for xmodmap.

I use a compose key mapped to Caps Lock, then for example ä is Composea". I do it that way, because I also want non-german letters like å or ç.

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On Mac OS X you can use:

  • Alt+S = ß
  • Alt+U then A = ä
  • Alt+U then E = ë
  • Alt+U then U = ü

(Tested on a UK layout keyboard)

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You can also press [Shift] with the A, E or U to get the uppercase variant. –  Christopher May 31 '11 at 23:23
Additionally, starting with OS X 10.7 Lion, simply keeping the A, O, U, or the S key pressed activates a popup menu that lets you choose variants with diacritics, including umlauts and the Esszett. Press with Shift key for the uppercase. It works for some other languages too: ÿ î š Æ. –  TehMacDawg Dec 22 '12 at 1:10

Under Mac OS X you can do the following:

  1. Make sure you have the option "Show Keyboard & Character Viewer in menu bar" checked
  2. Select "Show/Hide Character Viewer" from the menu bar
  3. Select "Accented Latin" from the category list
  4. Select the desired character. (A double click on the character will insert it into the current application)
  5. You can add often used characters as your favorites.

System Preferences

Open Character Viewer

Select desired character

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Ich habe hier zwei Programme vorgestellt, die unter Windows bei der Eingabe solcher Zeichen helfen: ac'tivAid Forte und AllChars. Beide sind sehr leicht erlernbar.

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Use the Character Map (charmap) application on Microsoft Windows or the Character Palette in Mac OS X ("Zeichenpalette" in German, found when clicking the country flag on top of the screen in the system menu bar).

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Under Linux, most layouts have the letter ß on AltGr+S. The most notable exception is the German keyboard itself. Here, AltGr+S generates the letter ſ, also know as „long s“.

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And a dead key for umlauts at AltGr+[ on the UK English layout at least. –  misterben May 31 '11 at 21:29

Several ways:

  1. Switch to a German keyboard layout. No, really. On Windows, you can (after having configured it) switch between layouts by pressing Shift+Alt, so you can just switch when writing the special characters. This way, you just have to memorize where these four keys are, not all the other differences between US and German layout.
  2. Use codes: ä, for example, is Alt+0228, at least on Windows. Don't know if you need other keys for other systems. Windows Character Map (charmap.exe) shows the codes for characters.
  3. Copy & Paste, as seen on the GL&U chat.
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Automatically answered in English, because I just read the English question. I guess it's valuable primarily for English-speaking people anyway. –  OregonGhost May 31 '11 at 18:37
For me, that's perfectly fine. If someone wants a translation, they should ask, then I'd translate. –  Phira May 31 '11 at 18:38
Minor nitpick: It's actually not Shift+Alt but rather Alt+Shift: first press and hold Alt, then press Shift once, then release Alt. The other way round doesn't work. –  Torben Gundtofte-Bruun Jun 17 '11 at 11:58
@torbengb: Didn't know that. Anyway just press them at the same time :D Of course, you can also click onto the language toolbar (Sprachenleiste). –  OregonGhost Jun 17 '11 at 14:01
Both ways work for me... –  Martin - マーチン Jul 21 at 11:14

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