How to Type Special Characters in Windows

Windows lets you use a lot of different special characters which don’t appear on a standard QWERTY keyboard via an integrated Character Map. However, if you need to type special characters in text very often, you can use “WinCompose”, an open-source desktop tool that allows you to type special characters using simple key combinations.

Step 1: Download and install “WinCompose”

First of all, open your browser and go to this link: and click on the blue link to download the program. Then run the setup and follow the steps to install “WinCompose”.

Step 2: Initiate a compose sequence

After installation, the application adds itself to the Windows system tray. Press and release the “Compose” key to initiate a compose sequence. This key defaults to Right ALT; the icon should change to a green spot to indicate a compose sequence is in progress.

Then open a text processor and type in the keys for a compose sequence, such as A then E for “Æ”, for example.

Step 3:  Change the settings

You can right click the system tray icon to: disable or restart the tool; specify the “Compose Key” or the “Timeout interval” (Delay),and view a map of all compose sequences.

Step 4: Take a look at the full list of rules and do a search

The full list of rules can be found clicking on the “WinCompose” system tray icon, or using the “Show Sequences” right clicking on the icon. You can also find a specific sequence entering it in the “Search Filter” at the bottom of the window.

Result: Congratulations! You’ve just learned How to Type Special Characters In Windows Using Keyboard Shortcuts


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