French Keyboards

I’m not the greatest typist and I’m not a perfect speller, even in English, but when I started my French learning journey officially in January 2015 I decided that I was going to try and use the proper accents when typing.

I found early on that you can get away with not using accents when typing French. The French online dictionaries still recognize a word even without the proper accents, however I knew deep in my heart that this would be taking a shortcut and if I let myself get away with too many shortcuts I was going to end up a really sloppy French learner.

So I found some PC shortcuts for typing French accents.



I found that there are really two different sets of [Alt]+ codes for typing French accents. One set involves holding down [Alt]+ and then typing four numbers .

The other involves holding down [Alt]+ and typing three numbers.

(I use to work in I.T. so I can kind of understand this. Geek programmers like reinventing the wheel  every time they design a car. This why each new version of Windows and Office are so completely different than the last. The Nerdy programmers don’t care if you have to spend a week retraining your entire staff each time there is an upgrade. And when we use to explain it to them in the  company that I worked for that it would be better if the new version had a similar look and feel to the last version, they just didn’t get it. So anyway there are two different sets of [Alt]+ codes for typing French accents {maybe more}).

The other day, I asked some French Friends how they typed French accents. The secret is that the French have a completely different Keyboard to the English speaking countries.

The French use what is called the AZERTY-keyboard. Whereas the English keyboard is often called the QWERTY keyboard because of the first six letters on the top line starting from the left. The AZERTY was named in the same way.

The letters are in a different order and the numbers key double as Accented Letter Keys. In fact, the default setting of the numbers keys on a French Keyboard are Accented Letters. In order to type numbers you must hold down the [Shift] key.

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