The letter ß and those other German letters

I read an interesting article on the Deutsche Welle website this morning (if you want to read it – it is in English)
Soon you will be able to see internet addresses with the letter ‘ß’ in it. Until now the only choice was ‘ss’.

This reminded me of a question I get asked a lot in my German lessons: “How can I write those extra German letters if I don’t have a German keyboard?”

The good news is – you don’t need a German keyboard! All you need is the number pad on the right hand side of your keyboard. Make sure the key ‘Num Lock’ is on and you can start typing.
You press the ‘Alt’ key and at the same time you type a number combination, and – hey presto – you have your German letter.

Alt & 132 = ä
Alt & 142 = Ä
Alt & 148 = ö
Alt & 153 = Ö
Alt & 129 = ü
Alt & 154 = Ü
Alt & 225 = ß

And there you have it – all extra German letters.

Why don’t you try them out?

If,however, you have a laptop, then you are missing the numbers on the right. Unforunately I have not been able to work out how to get any number combinations. So once you have a document open, go into ‘insert’ and find the letters.

If anybody has worked out how else you can get those easy combinations on a laptop, please let me know!

EDIT: Since I wrote this in 2010, laptops have changed and they now also have the numbers on the side, which means those combinations work with laptops, too!

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One Response to The letter ß and those other German letters

  1. […] As a German learner you most likely have written a German text on your computer and find writing the extra characters ä, ö, ü and ß a bit of a hassle. You either need to use a virtual German keyboard, find the symbols on a word document and copy and paste or use number combinations for it. If you need a reminder about the number combinations, check out an older blog post about the letter ß and those other German letters. […]

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