Umlauts -- again

Long ago I posted an item on how to do Umlaut characters from an American computer keyboard.

That piece got horribly mangled in the conversion to the new Forum software earlier this year -- to the point of being unreadable. So, rather than trying to edit that archival piece, I am doing a new post.

In discussing European model railroading, we often encounter abbreviations, words, and names such as ÖBB, Märklin, and Jägerndorfer, so it is helpful to be able to use these special characters.

The following should work on most personal computers running various versions of the Microsoft operating systems. (A similar process is likely available for Apple systems, but I don't know the details.)

To insert an Umlaut character -- if you do not have a special keyboard with these characters -- do the following:

  • Hold down the Alt key on your keyboard
  • While doing so, type in the numeric code for the character on the numeric keypad.

The numeric codes are as follows
Ä 0196
ä 0228
Ö 0214
ö 0246
Ü 0220
ü 0252

Two additional useful characters that are not Umlauts:
ß 0223 (sharp s)
€ 0127 (Euro symbol. Some newer computers may have this symbol on the keyboard. Not all fonts will have this character.)

Important: You must include the leading zero in these character codes for them to work correctly.

-- Ernest


  • I solved this problem on my Lenovo T500 and T520 by installing Deutsch keyboards and changing the input language.

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