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US Multilingual Keyboard Layout


The US Multilingual Keyboard Layout is a keyboard driver for Windows 2000 and later. It allows the user of a keyboard with the standard US layout (QWERTY) to enter all characters from the ECMA Latin-1, Latin-2, Latin-3, and Latin-4 character sets. ECMA designed these character sets to meet the needs of the following languages:




Using the Keyboard

The US Multilingual Keyboard Layout extends the US standard Scholes keyboard layout through the use of alternate graphics and dead key mechanisms. The Ctrl and left Alt keys, when pressed together, or the right Alt key alone are treated as a special shift called alternate graphics (AltGr) mode. Several characters are entered as simple AltGr shifts of normal characters. The other characters are entered through the use of accent characters. These accent characters are called dead keys as they do not immediately produce a character, but instead modify the next character entered.

Normal Mode

In the absence of the AltGr shift, the keyboard has the standard characters. When the Shift key is not pressed, the keyboard generates lowercase unaccented letters, decimal digits, and a few punctuation characters. When the Shift key is pressed, the keyboard generates uppercase unaccented letters and several punctuation characters. This behavior is identical to that of the standard US keyboard layout.

The keyboard layout is shown in the following diagram. Letters and symbols presented in black are the characters generated in the absence of the AltGr shift.

Alternate Graphics Mode

Pressing the AltGr shift (Ctrl with the left Alt key, or the right Alt key in isolation) provides access to an extended set of characters. These characters are shown in the above keyboard diagram in red. Some of these characters also act as dead keys. These dead key characters are shown with a gray background.

Keys shown with a white background produce their character immediately. The letters thorn, eth, kra, eng, and sharp s are all immediately available through the AltGr shift, as are the ae, oe, and ij ligatures. Miscellaneous punctuation marks including inverted exclamation mark, inverted question mark, and single and double angle quotation marks (guillemots) are also available on AltGr shifted keys.

Characters shown with a light gray background are accent marks. These are implemented as dead keys, that is, keys which do not immediately produce a character when pressed. Instead, they modify the next character entered.

The correspondence between keys and accent marks, and the characters that can be produced with the accent marks, are shown in the following table. Accented letters are produced by first pressing the appropriate dead key to specify the accent, then pressing the letter to which the accent is to be applied. Additionally, some dead keys are used to generate other symbols. These other symbols are shown in the table, as are the characters to which the dead key must be applied to generate the symbol.






` (grave accent)

` (grave accent)

à è ì ò ù À È Ì Ò Ù

~ (tilde)

~ (tilde)

ã ĩ ő ñ ũ Ã Ĩ Ő Ñ Ũ

^ (circumflex)

^ (circumflex)

â ĉ ê ĝ ĥ î ĵ ô ŝ û Â Ĉ Ê Ĝ Ĥ Î Ĵ Ô Ŝ Û

* (asterisk)

˚ (ring above)

å ů Å Ů



( (left parenthesis)

˘ (breve)

ă ğ ŭ Ă Ğ Ŭ

- (hyphen)

- (line through)

đ ħ ŧ Đ Ħ Ŧ

£ ¥ € ¦ ª ° ÷

L Y E | a o :

\ (backslash, reverse solidus)

˛ (ogonek)

ą ę į ų Ą Ę Į Ų

| (vertical bar)

¯ (macron)

ā ē ī ō ū Ā Ē Ī Ō Ū

: (colon)

¨ (diaeresis, umlaut)

ä ë ï ö ü ÿ Ä Ë Ï Ö Ü Ÿ

' (apostrophe)

´ (acute accent)

á ć é í ĺ ń ó ŕ ś ú ý ź Á Ć É Í Ĺ Ń Ó Ŕ Ś Ú Ý Ź

" (quotation mark)

˝ (double acute accent)

ő ű Ő Ű

, (comma)

¸ (cedilla)

ç ģ ķ ļ ņ ŗ ş ţ Ç Ģ Ķ Ļ Ņ Ŗ Ş Ţ

< (less than sign)

ˇ (caron)

č ď ě ǐ ľ ň ř š ť ž Č Ď Ě Ǐ Ľ Ň Ř Š Ť Ž

. (period)

˙ (dot above, dotless)

ċ ė ı ġ ż Ċ Ė Ġ İ Ż

/ (slash, solidus)

/ (oblique stroke)

ł ø Ł Ø

¢ ¼ ½ ¾

c 1 2 3

Accented letters are produced by typing the dead key, followed by the letter desired. Note that the Shift state of the dead key is independent of the Shift state of the letter. For example, to type a lowercase o with a double acute accent, press both AltGr and Shift keys, then press the apostrophe/quote mark key, then release the AltGr and Shift keys, then finally press the O key.

Installing the Keyboard Layout

The keyboard layout must be installed on each Windows computer on which it is to be used. To install the keyboard layout on a machine, perform the following steps from an account with Administrator privilege.

  1. Download the .ZIP file to your hard drive. The desktop will do fine.
  2. Right click on the .ZIP file in Windows Explorer and select “extract all.” This will extract the contents to a new directory. Choose to display the contents of the new directory.
  3. Double click on “setup.exe” in the display of the new directory.
  4. After setup completes, you can delete the .ZIP file downloaded in step 1 and directory created in step 2.

Using the Keyboard Layout

The keyboard layout must be installed on the Windows computer, and selected by each account from which it is to be used. To select the keyboard layout for use by a particular account, perform the following steps from the account.

  1. Click Start.
  2. Click Control Panel.
  3. Double click Regional and Language Options.
  4. Click on the Languages tab.
  5. Click on the Details... button.
  6. Click on the Add... button.
  7. Select “English (United States)” in the upper combo box.
  8. Select “US Standard Layout with Multilingual Characters” in the lower combo box.
  9. Click OK.
  10. Click on “US” in the Installed Services list.
  11. Click “Remove”.
  12. You will receive a warning message:
  13. Click OK.
  14. Click OK.
  15. Log off and back on, or restart the computer.