Installing the International Keyboard in Windows XP/Vista

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To type accented letters and special punctuation in Spanish, it is recommended that you install the 'International Keyboard' option in Windows XP/Vista.

Instructions for Windows XP

  • 1. Click "Start"
  • 2. Click "Control Panel"
  • 3. Click "Regional and Language Options"
  • 4. Select "Languages" tab
  • 5. Click "Details..."
  • 6. Under "Installed Services" click "Add.."
  • 7. Make sure "Keyboard layout/IME" is checked and select "United States-International"
  • 8. Click "OK" and exit the system to finalize the installation

Instructions for Windows Vista

  • 1. Click "Control Panel"
  • 2. Select "Clock, Language and Region"
  • 3. Under Regional and Language Options, pick "Change keyboard or other input method."
  • 4. Select the General tab. Under "Installed Services" click "Add..."
  • 5. Find the "United States-International" option and select it.
  • 6. In the pull-down menu, select "United States-International" as the default language.
  • 7. Click OK to exit the menu system and finalize the installation.

Using the "right-Alt"

Once installed, the international keyboard then allows you to do the following:

  • Add the accents to the vowels, press the right-Alt key at the same time as the vowel.

Example: To type á, press the right-Alt key and the a at the same time. If you're capitalizing to make Á, you'll have to press three keys simultaneously — the a, right-Alt and the shift key.

  • Add special characters.

Example: Angular quotation markets (« and ») can be created by pressing the right-Alt key and one of the bracket keys simultaneously. The inverted question mark (¿) and inverted exclamation point (¡) are also done similarly. Press right-Alt and the 1 key (which also is used for the exclamation point) for the inverted exclamation point; for the inverted question mark, press right-Alt and the question mark key at the same time.