Wensveen's Blog

March 28, 2012

Typing Danish characters on a US keyboard

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , , — wensveen @ 11:35 am

I live in Denmark, and because I am learning Danish I often have to type the Danish characters æ, ø and å. Since I still have a US keyboard, this is not easy. At least on windows. I usually open the Character Map application and select the characters from there. Once you have inserted them in a text you can copy-paste them when you need them. This works, but it is a little cumbersome.

Character Map

Another option is to hold the Alt key and type the character’s ASCII code on the NumPad, but that means remembering 6 rather random numbers. Here is a table, if you like:

Character NumPad (ASCII) Code
Æ 198
æ 230
Ø 216
ø 248
Å 197
å 229

Unfortunately, many laptops don’t have a NumPad to save space. So not an option.

Luckily, there is a cool program from Microsoft called The Microsoft Keyboard Layout Creator which you can use to create your own keyboard layouts, based on existing ones or from scratch.

I’ve used this to create a layout based on the US – English layout, adding Danish characters as ‘Dead Key’ combinations. Dead keys are keys that combine with other keys to create another character. For those of you used to, for example, a NL – US int keyboard layout, if you press quote and then e, you get an é. When you just want a quote, you have to type quote + space. Personally, I find this extremely annoying, since I type a lot more quotes than é’s.

For the US – Dansk layout, I’ve chosen to use the AltGr (right Alt) key as a dead key combinator. This is less annoying and even necessary because when you don’t want to combine a+e into æ but just want an ‘a’, you don’t want to have to press a+space.

The result is that you have to press AltGr+a and then e to get an æ character. Here’s a table for all Danish characters:

Character Key combination
Æ AltGr+A e
AltGr+A E
AltGr+a E
æ AltGr+a e
Ø AltGr+/ O
AltGr+? O
AltGr+? o
ø AltGr+/ o
Å AltGr+A a
AltGr+A A
AltGr+a A
å AltGr+a a

As you can see, the capitals can be created when either the first or the second character is typed as a capital, or both.

Because I can’t upload zip or exe files, I can’t provide a download link. I can, however, provide the text contents of the .klc file, which you can load into the MS Keyboard Creator. See below. If you want to have the generated setup package, I can mail it to you. Just leave a comment.

KBD US-DK "US - Dansk"

COPYRIGHT "(c) 2012 Forsite"

COMPANY "Forsite"

LOCALENAME "en-US"

LOCALEID "00000409"

VERSION 1.0

SHIFTSTATE

0 //Column 4
1 //Column 5 : Shft
2 //Column 6 : Ctrl
6 //Column 7 : Ctrl Alt
7 //Column 8 : Shft Ctrl Alt

LAYOUT ;an extra '@' at the end is a dead key

//SC VK_ Cap 0 1 2 6 7
//-- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ----

02 1 0 1 0021 -1 -1 -1 // DIGIT ONE, EXCLAMATION MARK, , ,
03 2 0 2 0040 -1 -1 -1 // DIGIT TWO, COMMERCIAL AT, , ,
04 3 0 3 0023 -1 -1 -1 // DIGIT THREE, NUMBER SIGN, , ,
05 4 0 4 0024 -1 -1 -1 // DIGIT FOUR, DOLLAR SIGN, , ,
06 5 0 5 0025 -1 -1 -1 // DIGIT FIVE, PERCENT SIGN, , ,
07 6 0 6 005e -1 -1 -1 // DIGIT SIX, CIRCUMFLEX ACCENT, , ,
08 7 0 7 0026 -1 -1 -1 // DIGIT SEVEN, AMPERSAND, , ,
09 8 0 8 002a -1 -1 -1 // DIGIT EIGHT, ASTERISK, , ,
0a 9 0 9 0028 -1 -1 -1 // DIGIT NINE, LEFT PARENTHESIS, , ,
0b 0 0 0 0029 -1 -1 -1 // DIGIT ZERO, RIGHT PARENTHESIS, , ,
0c OEM_MINUS 0 002d 005f -1 -1 -1 // HYPHEN-MINUS, LOW LINE, , ,
0d OEM_PLUS 0 003d 002b -1 -1 -1 // EQUALS SIGN, PLUS SIGN, , ,
10 Q 1 q Q -1 -1 -1 // LATIN SMALL LETTER Q, LATIN CAPITAL LETTER Q, , ,
11 W 1 w W -1 -1 -1 // LATIN SMALL LETTER W, LATIN CAPITAL LETTER W, , ,
12 E 1 e E -1 -1 -1 // LATIN SMALL LETTER E, LATIN CAPITAL LETTER E, , ,
13 R 1 r R -1 -1 -1 // LATIN SMALL LETTER R, LATIN CAPITAL LETTER R, , ,
14 T 1 t T -1 -1 -1 // LATIN SMALL LETTER T, LATIN CAPITAL LETTER T, , ,
15 Y 1 y Y -1 -1 -1 // LATIN SMALL LETTER Y, LATIN CAPITAL LETTER Y, , ,
16 U 1 u U -1 -1 -1 // LATIN SMALL LETTER U, LATIN CAPITAL LETTER U, , ,
17 I 1 i I -1 -1 -1 // LATIN SMALL LETTER I, LATIN CAPITAL LETTER I, , ,
18 O 1 o O -1 -1 -1 // LATIN SMALL LETTER O, LATIN CAPITAL LETTER O, , ,
19 P 1 p P -1 -1 -1 // LATIN SMALL LETTER P, LATIN CAPITAL LETTER P, , ,
1a OEM_4 0 005b 007b 001b -1 -1 // LEFT SQUARE BRACKET, LEFT CURLY BRACKET, ESCAPE, ,
1b OEM_6 0 005d 007d 001d -1 -1 // RIGHT SQUARE BRACKET, RIGHT CURLY BRACKET, INFORMATION SEPARATOR THREE, ,
1e A 5 a A -1 a@ A@ // LATIN SMALL LETTER A, LATIN CAPITAL LETTER A, , LATIN SMALL LETTER A, LATIN CAPITAL LETTER A
1f S 1 s S -1 -1 -1 // LATIN SMALL LETTER S, LATIN CAPITAL LETTER S, , ,
20 D 1 d D -1 -1 -1 // LATIN SMALL LETTER D, LATIN CAPITAL LETTER D, , ,
21 F 1 f F -1 -1 -1 // LATIN SMALL LETTER F, LATIN CAPITAL LETTER F, , ,
22 G 1 g G -1 -1 -1 // LATIN SMALL LETTER G, LATIN CAPITAL LETTER G, , ,
23 H 1 h H -1 -1 -1 // LATIN SMALL LETTER H, LATIN CAPITAL LETTER H, , ,
24 J 1 j J -1 -1 -1 // LATIN SMALL LETTER J, LATIN CAPITAL LETTER J, , ,
25 K 1 k K -1 -1 -1 // LATIN SMALL LETTER K, LATIN CAPITAL LETTER K, , ,
26 L 1 l L -1 -1 -1 // LATIN SMALL LETTER L, LATIN CAPITAL LETTER L, , ,
27 OEM_1 0 003b 003a -1 -1 -1 // SEMICOLON, COLON, , ,
28 OEM_7 0 0027 0022 -1 -1 -1 // APOSTROPHE, QUOTATION MARK, , ,
29 OEM_3 0 0060 007e -1 -1 -1 // GRAVE ACCENT, TILDE, , ,
2b OEM_5 0 005c 007c 001c -1 -1 // REVERSE SOLIDUS, VERTICAL LINE, INFORMATION SEPARATOR FOUR, ,
2c Z 1 z Z -1 -1 -1 // LATIN SMALL LETTER Z, LATIN CAPITAL LETTER Z, , ,
2d X 1 x X -1 -1 -1 // LATIN SMALL LETTER X, LATIN CAPITAL LETTER X, , ,
2e C 1 c C -1 -1 -1 // LATIN SMALL LETTER C, LATIN CAPITAL LETTER C, , ,
2f V 1 v V -1 -1 -1 // LATIN SMALL LETTER V, LATIN CAPITAL LETTER V, , ,
30 B 1 b B -1 -1 -1 // LATIN SMALL LETTER B, LATIN CAPITAL LETTER B, , ,
31 N 1 n N -1 -1 -1 // LATIN SMALL LETTER N, LATIN CAPITAL LETTER N, , ,
32 M 1 m M -1 -1 -1 // LATIN SMALL LETTER M, LATIN CAPITAL LETTER M, , ,
33 OEM_COMMA 0 002c 003c -1 -1 -1 // COMMA, LESS-THAN SIGN, , ,
34 OEM_PERIOD 0 002e 003e -1 -1 -1 // FULL STOP, GREATER-THAN SIGN, , ,
35 OEM_2 4 002f 003f -1 002f@ 003f@ // SOLIDUS, QUESTION MARK, , SOLIDUS, QUESTION MARK
39 SPACE 0 0020 0020 0020 -1 -1 // SPACE, SPACE, SPACE, ,
56 OEM_102 0 005c 007c 001c -1 -1 // REVERSE SOLIDUS, VERTICAL LINE, INFORMATION SEPARATOR FOUR, ,
53 DECIMAL 0 002e 002e -1 -1 -1 // FULL STOP, FULL STOP, , ,

DEADKEY 0061

0061 00e5 // a -> å
0065 00e6 // e -> æ
0041 00c5 // A -> Å
0045 00c6 // E -> Æ
0020 0061 // -> a

DEADKEY 0041

0041 00c5 // A -> Å
0045 00c6 // E -> Æ
0061 00c5 // a -> Å
0065 00c6 // e -> Æ
0020 0041 // -> A

DEADKEY 002f

006f 00f8 // o -> ø
004f 00d8 // O -> Ø
0020 002f // -> /

DEADKEY 003f

006f 00d8 // o -> Ø
004f 00d8 // O -> Ø
0020 003f // -> ?

KEYNAME

01 Esc
0e Backspace
0f Tab
1c Enter
1d Ctrl
2a Shift
36 "Right Shift"
37 "Num *"
38 Alt
39 Space
3a "Caps Lock"
3b F1
3c F2
3d F3
3e F4
3f F5
40 F6
41 F7
42 F8
43 F9
44 F10
45 Pause
46 "Scroll Lock"
47 "Num 7"
48 "Num 8"
49 "Num 9"
4a "Num -"
4b "Num 4"
4c "Num 5"
4d "Num 6"
4e "Num +"
4f "Num 1"
50 "Num 2"
51 "Num 3"
52 "Num 0"
53 "Num Del"
54 "Sys Req"
57 F11
58 F12
7c F13
7d F14
7e F15
7f F16
80 F17
81 F18
82 F19
83 F20
84 F21
85 F22
86 F23
87 F24

KEYNAME_EXT

1c "Num Enter"
1d "Right Ctrl"
35 "Num /"
37 "Prnt Scrn"
38 "Right Alt"
45 "Num Lock"
46 Break
47 Home
48 Up
49 "Page Up"
4b Left
4d Right
4f End
50 Down
51 "Page Down"
52 Insert
53 Delete
54
56 Help
5b "Left Windows"
5c "Right Windows"
5d Application

KEYNAME_DEAD

0061 "LATIN SMALL LETTER A"
0041 "LATIN CAPITAL LETTER A"
002f "SOLIDUS"
003f "QUESTION MARK"

DESCRIPTIONS

0409 US - Dansk
LANGUAGENAMES

0409 English (United States)
ENDKBD

I hope you find it as useful as I do.

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4 Comments »

  1. I understand this is kind of off topic but
    I was wondering if you knew somewhere I could possibly download a captcha plugin for my comment form?
    I’m using the same blog system as you and I’m having trouble locating one?

    Comment by popularidad — April 27, 2013 @ 4:23 am

    • I’m sorry, but I don’t know. If you’re on a free wordpress.com blog, like me, your options are probably limited. Hosting your own WordPress software, or upgrading to pro might give you more options to install all sort of plugins. If you want to be sure, contact support.

      Comment by wensveen — April 30, 2013 @ 8:01 am

  2. Thanks so much for this… yes I would like a copy of the file…

    Comment by lem — August 14, 2013 @ 10:14 pm

    • Hi Iem. I’ve sent you an email. Let me know if you have any problems.

      Comment by wensveen — August 15, 2013 @ 7:39 am


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