How to set keyboard for Bilingual typing
I couldn't find instructions on this when I did a search for it. There were links to it here, but I didn't see the instructions. So I found these instructions below on the web in case anyone is interested.
Procedure and Settings for Bilingual Keyboard
Follow these steps and your keyboard will work in English and Spanish without requiring you to reset, disable or do without any key functions!
Open any WORD document, blank or not. Then go to the Menu and click INSERT, then SYMBOL. Select NORMAL TEXT.
A chart showing small characters will appear; in order to read them or select them, you have to run the cursor over them and LEFT CLICK to enlarge or highlight them.
You have to create the shortcut key settings one letter at a time.
The following procedure for configuring the "á" can be used to configure all the others.
A. Highlight the á in the chart and select SHORTCUT KEY. Another window will open presenting you more options.
B. The first option asks the user to enter the key combination desired to produce the á. For this accented vowel, and for all the other vowels, it is recommended that you select the use of ALT + the vowel, in order to be able to type the accented vowel by holding down the ALT key and typing the vowel.
C. Click ASSIGN.
D. Highlight any other key combinations that may appear in that window and click REMOVE.
E. Return to the character chart in order to continue assigning the desired key combinations to produce the various accented vowels or other characters needed, as well as to erase the unwanted default combinations previously set up by MICROSOFT or another user. I highly recommend the following key combinations:
á = ALT + a
é = ALT +e
í = ALT + i
ó = ALT + o
ú = ALT + u
ñ = ALT + n
¿ = ALT + l (ele)
Ñ = CTRL + n
¡ = CTRL + l (ele)
ü = CTRL + u
NOTE: The above method will NOT work in e-mail, unless you have set WORD to be your text editor in Outlook. Other programs, such as PPT also require a different solution. In order to type the characters in these environments, use NUMBER LOCK and the numeric keypad to the right of the typical desktop keyboard. Simply hold down ALT, then enter the following numbers to obtain the following characters.
160 = á
130 = é
161 = í
162 = ó
163 = ú
129 = ü
164 = ñ
165 = Ñ
168 = ¿
173 = ¡
Happy Keyboarding! Now your semicolon will still be a semicolon instead of an ñ and ALT + n will give you ñ when you want it!
from the link: http://www.brighthub.com/education/languages/articles/4411.aspx
There are MANY ways to make the Spanish characters and your method is better than some. One problem with your method (assigning key macros) you have already brought up. It is not accepted in all computer environments. You will find many programs where macros are disabled by default (for security reasons) and will need to be turned on before your key combinations are accepted.
A 2nd problem is using the Control and Alt keys. They aren't in a good position for fast typing (you have to move your hand from it's normal typing position). That delays your typing and if you're taking the lessons here you will quickly find out why that is detrimental to your scores. I prefer using the US International Keyboard as the only thing involved in making most of the characters is your right hand "pinky" finger. You do not have to move your hand away from its normal typing position.
I have never run a program that did not accept the "additional" characters available on the US Intl. keyboard.
If you would like to try it, here is a link to a downloadable PowerPoint presentation showing you how to install the keyboard (if you are using Windows). If you do not like it after trying it, it is very simple to uninstall.
There is a player at the site that allows you to watch the presentation. But if you download it you can view it slide by slide to allow you to perform the steps as you see them. If you don't own PowerPoint just google for a free PPT viewer to see the show on your computer. There is a separate slideshow for XP and Vista. If you can't find the slideshow click View All. Any questions-PM me.