Home Computer: Open Forum

I think that I may be able to help your correspondents Jane Dalton and M Davies over their problems with diacritical signs (accents) in foreign-language word-processing.

The usual answer to Ms Dalton's query, given that she simply wishes to use the accented characters available within the normal Ascii/Ansi character sets, is to hold down the Alt key while typing in on the numeric keypad the Ascii/Ansi number of the character that she wishes to obtain. So, to get an e with an acute accent, type Alt + 130. The Ascii chart supplied with Dos will be a useful guide to the numbers required.

Mrs Davies's problem is one which regularly afflicts musicians who have, for example, to write the name of the composer Dvorak correctly. Fortunately for her, though, several of the character sets provided with the Macintosh actually have the appropriate diacritical signs built in - the Times Roman character set, for example.

The diacriticals lurk in the bottom right-hand corner of the character maps. She will, however, have to use a program like Microsoft Word for the Macintosh, which allows the diacriticals to be overstruck on to the character.

IBM users who need eastern European characters have several choices. Either use LocoScript or WordPerfect, all of which have these characters (and others) built in, or, if another Windows word-processor is to be used, buy a font offering eastern European characters. A collection of fonts is available in Bitstream's Facelift 2 for Windows and single fontscan be purchased from The Electronic Font Foundry, The Studio, Gibbs House, Kennel Ride, Ascot, Berks SL5 7NT.

John Whenham

Department of Music, University of Birmingham

EJ Whenham birmingham. ac. uk

Mrs Davies needs to get the Cassady & Greene Glasnost collection, which should be available from Appropriate Technology, South Bank Technology Centre, Ponton Street, London SW8 5AT, 071 627 1000

Alternatively, CompuServe (the on-line computer information newtwork) may be a good source of shareware fonts in the Foreign Languages Forum. And if not fonts, then places to find them.

Piers Hemy

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