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Help, my computer keyboard has no fada !

There are various ways around this problem and the most popular method is to use what known as a hotkey. This means that hitting the key designated as your your hotkey will put a fada over the next letter that you type, if it's a vowel, otherwise it has no effect.

So to type the word tá you first type t then you hit the hotkey and then when you type a it appears as á. It works for capital letters as well. There is a free program called fadas4 which enables a hotkey for you. The hotkey in this case is the tilde key, and if you're wondering what a tilde is it's the key just below the ESC key at top left of your keyboard. You can download the program here............ Fadas4

To download it, place your cursor directly over the blue lettering, the cursor will change to a symbol like a little hand, then right click on the mouse and then choose "save target as". Once downloaded there is no special installation routine or anything complicated, you just save it in a convenient place on your computer and then create a desktop shortcut so you can activate it.

In the last few months a new version has come out called fadas5 which is basically the same thing but this time you hit the hotkey after typing your vowel. The end result is exactly the same but some people prefer this way of working. You can download the program here............ Fadas5

Can I use inbuilt Microsoft functions ?

If you are wary of downloading exe files or your anti-virus software keeps intervening to make it difficult, then here is a document compiled by one of our students that shows hows to type special characters using the standard facilities already available in Microsoft Word. It explains three different options namely using the ALT key, using the CTRL key or choosing from a palette of available symbols. These symbols include all the accented characters as well as currency symbols like the Euro and Yen, and we even spotted a little shamrock in there. The document itself is in colour and be downloaded here...... Fadas explained

Note that the ALT key method requires you to have a separate numeric keypad, which is not often seen on laptops or tablets and you also need to have the NUMLOCK key on. If this method works well for you then the document also explains how you can create your own easily-remembered shortcuts.

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