US International Extended keyboard layout

The “US International Extended” layout is sofware (for Windows) that lets you type conveniently texts in Spanish, French, German, Portuguese, and dozens of other languages, using normal US keyboard. It also contains a collection of commonly needed special characters such as − (minus sign), ° (degree sign), and “smart” quotes.

Currently, this page only describes a draft design of the layout. The implementation is in progress.

~¯
`
!
1
@
2
#
3
$
4
%
5
^
6¼
&
7
*
8¾
(
9
)
0°
_
-SHY
+±
=
Q
˚
W
E
R
®
TÞ
þ
Y
¥
U
I
ı
OŒ
œ
P
{
[
}
]
A
S
ß
DÐ
ð
F
ƒ
G
H
J
K
ĸ
L
:˝
;
"
'
|¦
\¬
|¦
\¬
ZƷ
ʒ
X·
×
C
©
V
 ̌
B
NŊ
ŋ
M
µ
<˛
,¸
>
.˙
?¿
/÷
THINSP HAIRSP
SPACENBSP
AltGr

The backslash key \ has two possible places on the keyboard. They are both shown in this presentation, even though each keyboard has it in one place only.

The presentation above shows the meanings of keys so that

The character repertoire covered contains all ISO Latin 1 and all Windows Latin 1 characters, all ISO Latin 2 characters, and selection of other important characters. Thus, all official languages of European countries using the Latin alphabet are covered. A few commonly needed mathematical characters are included, but for typing mathematical expressions, the Math Keyboard layout is recommended.

Some characters are not immediately recognizable from their shapes alone. For example, there are several comma-like symbols on the keyboard. To see the exact definitions (Unicode numbers and names of characters), you currently need to download the keyboard layout and inspect it using e.g. the Microsoft Keyboard Layout Creator (MSKLC) program. That program was used to create this layout, and it can also be used to modify it.

Principles

Diacritic marks

The first column of the following table shows a diacritic mark when attached to the letter “a“ or (if the mark is not used with that letter) to some other suitable letter.

Name of the mark Key combination Examples of use
acute accent AltGr` Bogot, fianc
ǎcaron (hček )AltGrV Čapek
cedillaAltGr, garon
circumflex Shift6 rle
dieresis (two dots, umlaut) \ . Hrnsand
ėdot aboveAltGr.Klaipėda
ődouble acuteAltGrShift.Petőfi
grave accent ` Citt, la maison
ąogonekAltGrShift,Wałęsa
ring aboveAltGrQ ngstrm
tilde Shift` So

Subscripts and superscripts

Superscript digits, superscript plus, and superscript minus can be typed using the grave accent key ` followed by a digit key, the - (for minus), or the = (for plus).

Corresponding subscript characters can be typed the same way but starting with AltGr` instead of `.

For compatibility with the US-International layout, superscript two and three can also be typed with AltGr2 and AltGr3.

Note that AltGr0 does not produce superscript zero but the degree sign.

Backslash escapes

The following table shows the effects of keys when preceded by a backslash \.

˜
ˆ
ʿ
ʾ
¯
Ə
ə
ɼ
Ŧ
ŧ
IJ
ij
Ω
º
π
ª
ſ
Đ
đ
Ǥ
ǥ
Ħ
ħ
Ł
ł
ʺ
ʹ
¢
ʼn
\
AltGr

Differences from US International

This layout differs from the US International layout distributed as part of Windows by being somewhat more natural and by supporting a larger repertoire of characters, including letters used in Eastern European languages. For example, the euro sign € and the yen sign ¥ are assigned to the natural combinations AltGrE and AltGrE instead of the rather arbitrary AltGr5 and AltGr-.

There are also some incompatibilities, i.e. US International Extended is not a pure extension of US International. The following list describes some features of US International that do not work as such in US International Extended:

Use on other QWERTY keyboards

The layout can be used on physical keyboards that differ from the physical US keyboards. The point is that the works independently of the engravings on the keys. The instructions give above refer to keys by their engravings on US keyboards, so you need to compare the keywords and remember or write down the differences.

The layout can even be used e.g. on an AZERTY keyboard, but it can be too awkward to remember that the key with engraving A produces the letter q, etc.

On a British keyboard, for example, there are no serious difficulties. Most engravings are the same. Yet, you need to remember that e.g. to produce a letter with tilde, such as , you do not use the key with the tilde ~ engraved on it but the one with the not sign on it.