Most European languages have two small dots over some letters, usually the vowels. This system is a kind of diacritical mark used to guide pronunciation or syllabication.
While it’s particular to the German language, the two dots are also evident in other languages like French and Spanish. In the German language, umlauts mean “around sound” or “changed sound”.
It’s mostly used to guide speakers of the pronunciation of the umlauted word. In other languages, umlauts represent diaeresis to imply syllabication between vowel letters.
If you’re wondering how Germans type their mysterious umlauts, then we have good news for you. MS Word allows you to type an umlaut without changing your keyboard or installing a separate program. In this guide, we’ll share with you different methods to type an umlaut without having to lift a finger.
Now, there are about four ways to type an umlaut in MS Word.
4 Ways to Type an Umlaut in MS Word
- Using shortcut keys
- Using ASCII codes
- Using an online German keyboard simulator
- Using the Symbol Dialogue box
There’s nothing more convenient than having to press a combination of keyboard keys to insert special characters like an umlaut. Using the first two methods, we’ll show you how to type an umlaut with a few strokes on your keyboard keys. On the other hand, if you need to type longer texts involving umlauts, you may use a foreign keyboard simulator online. This way, you can get the job done faster. Lastly, the fourth method utilizes Word’s plethora of symbols found in the Symbol Dialogue box.
Overall, you’ll find all four methods to be equally reliable when you need to type an umlaut in MS Word. After all, Microsoft has made it possible to easily insert umlaut and other characters in your documents.
Let’s dive right in!
Why Should You Type an Umlaut in Word?
An essential part of learning a language is to recognize the characters and their pronunciation. Most foreign languages use marks or symbols around their characters to imply a different meaning or how they should be read. Umlauts are one of these interesting cases.
Learning to type umlauts in MS Word can come in handy, especially if you’re writing for European readers. You’ll find typing an umlaut most suitable in situations when:
- You want to type German words in your document.
- You want to learn languages involving umlauts.
These are just mere guidelines and should not be strictly followed. We’re sure that you’ll find other reasons for when typing an umlaut is most appropriate.
That being said, here’s everything you need to know to type an umlaut in Word.
Method 1: Type an Umlaut Using Shortcut Keys
Using a combination of keyboard keys to type umlauts is, by far, the fastest way to get it done. Remembering the shortcut keys can save you a lot of time in most situations.
Here’s how you can do that.
Step 1: Open up an MS Word document.
First off, we need to open up an MS Word file. If you have a document already opened, go ahead and use that. Don’t worry because none of the steps in this method is irreversible.
Step 2: Hit the shortcut keys
Once your document is ready, place the cursor in the document where you want an umlaut inserted. Now, refer to the table below to learn which combination is for which umlaut.
To use the table below, you will have to press the shortcut key first and then the corresponding letter of the umlaut you want to type.
For example, to insert the umlaut ö, press CTRL + SHIFT + : and let go. Now, press the letter “o” on your keyboard.
Congratulations! You’ve just typed in an umlaut in MS Word.
Method 2: Type an Umlaut Using ASCII Codes
To begin with, ASCII stands for American Standard Code for Information Interchange. Simply put, every character is assigned a code in a way the computer understands, and umlauts are not an exception.
Here’s how you can use ASCII codes to type umlauts.
Step 1: Open up a Word document.
Before we start, we’ll need to open up a Word file. Feel free to use your own personal document for this one. You don’t need to worry about messing up your file, as the changes can easily be undone. Remember to press the CTRL + Z keys on your keyboard to undo unwanted changes.
Step 2: Use the ASCII codes.
Once our Word document is opened, we can start using ASCII codes to type in umlauts. If your keyboard doesn’t have a numeric keypad, make sure to enable the Num Lock key so you can use keys on your keyboard as a numeric keypad.
Use the table below to insert umlauts using ASCII codes.
To give you an example, press ALT + 0246 to type the umlaut “ö”. Do remember to disable the NumLock key on your keyboard to revert back to the default keyboard layout.
Congratulations! You’ve just typed umlauts in MS Word.
Method 3: Type an Umlaut Using an Online German Keyboard Simulator
In this method, we’ll show you the steps on how to use a keyboard simulator to type umlauts in MS Word. This method is most suitable in situations when you need to type a lot of German words.
Here’s how to do that!
Step 1: Open up a web browser.
Before we start, let’s open up a web browser. In the address bar, type in https://german.typeit.org/. Of course, you can opt to use similar online simulators other than this. This is just what Google gave us when we searched for “German keyboard simulator”. Feel free to leave us a comment below if you found something better.
Step 2: Insert the umlauts.
Once you’re on the site, click the buttons for the corresponding umlaut you want to be inserted in your document.
Once finished, simply copy-paste the umlauts into your Word document.
There you have it! You’ve just typed an umlaut using an online German keyboard simulator.
Method 4: Type an Umlaut Using the Symbol Dialogue Box
In this method, we’ll walk you through the steps on how to access the Symbol Dialogue box. Here, you’ll be able to insert umlauts into your Word document. The System Dialogue box has all the characters and symbols you’ll ever need in your documents.
Here’s how you can do that!
Step 1: Open up an MS Word document.
Before anything else, let’s open up an MS Word document. Feel free to create a new document if you’re not comfortable using your own personal one.
Step 2: Launch the Symbol Dialogue box.
Go to the Insert menu and click on the Symbol drop-down menu button found at the far right of the Ribbon. Then, select More Symbols. This will launch the Symbol Dialogue box in the middle of your window.
Step 3: Insert the umlauts.
On the Symbol Dialogue box, click the Subset drop-down menu and select Latin-1 Supplement.
You should see the common umlauts in the first five rows of the chosen subset. Click the Insert button to proceed. Otherwise, click the Cancel button.
Deleting an Umlaut in MS Word
Deleting an umlaut is as easy as adding them. Actually, it’s even easier! You can delete an umlaut character by selecting it and pressing the Delete key on your keyboard.
You’ve finally arrived at the end of this tutorial. Hopefully, we’ve helped you figure out how to type an umlaut in Word. Here’s a quick rundown of what we covered today.
Knowing how to type an umlaut in MS Word can turn out to be useful one way or another. This is especially the case when you’re learning the German language or other European languages. In this guide, we’ve laid out four methods to type umlauts in MS Word. The first two methods allow you to quickly add an umlaut using a combination of keyboard keys. The third method requires an online keyboard simulator to get the job done. Lastly, the fourth method provides a plethora of umlauts and other symbols and characters in one window.
We hope you’ve found this article helpful!