[Solved] Special characters insertion or French and Spanish)

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[Solved] Special characters insertion or French and Spanish)

Postby CARNIVALE » Wed Apr 13, 2016 10:30 am

SOLVED Good morning

i have installed open office tm 4 on my new Mac desktop and have been going through the various tutorials for Open office , which in general is quite impressive

However i have hit a snag : i write a lot in French and Spanish ( a lot of my documents will mix 2 or 3 languages ) and i am at a loss to find an easy way to insert accents for French and Spanish

The only thing i have found is a well populated grid of zillions of characters which i need to click to get the right accents ..a method which i thought had long been put to bed for being too cumbersome and time consuming
I guess i have been spoilt by the method of pressing the letter which should be adorned with a special character long enough for a window to appear and you select the right one ..( available in gmail , in my word for mac on my previous lap top and on my iPad )

Is there not a similar way for Open Office ?

(i have downloaded an extension " accentuate " but may be because i did not do it properly i do not get it to work )

All ideas and advice gratefully received
Last edited by CARNIVALE on Sat Apr 16, 2016 12:41 am, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: special characters insertion (for French and Spanish)

Postby Zizi64 » Wed Apr 13, 2016 12:55 pm

Is there not a similar way for Open Office ?


There a lot of ways to achieve this...

In AOO and LO:
- You can insert special characters with the menu item: Insert - Special chartacter
- You can use the Autocorect option: just set a character combination, and the ALL/LO will change it to the given character.
- You can write and apply a macro, what you can associate to a free hotkey. Then you need hit the hotkey for insert a special character.

In the operating system:
- You can install (set) more then one keyboart layout, and then you can switch between them. If you know the French or Spanish keyboard layout, then just hit the right key to insert the desired character.
Last edited by Zizi64 on Thu Apr 14, 2016 6:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: special characters insertion (for French and Spanish)

Postby jrkrideau » Wed Apr 13, 2016 2:04 pm

CARNIVALE wrote:Good morning

i have installed open office tm 4 on my new Mac desktop and have been going through the various tutorials for Open office , which in general is quite impressive

However i have hit a snag : i write a lot in French and Spanish ( a lot of my documents will mix 2 or 3 languages ) and i am at a loss to find an easy way to insert accents for French and Spanish


Is there not a similar way for Open Office ?

(i have downloaded an extension " accentuate " but may be because i did not do it properly i do not get it to work )

All ideas and advice gratefully received


I was going to mention accentuate, oh well. I had a look at it again and there is a note saying This extension was not updated recently. It might not work with latest versions of OpenOffice.. It looks like the last entry was in 2008.

There is an alternative called compose special character that might work but it has the same date and note.

I have not used a Mac in years but my understanding is that the Mac OS is Linux based. If so you may have most or all of the characters available from your existing keyboard.

In Unbuntu I can do á ç ã and so on with a simple hotkey combo. I don't know Spanish but so far I have not found any character in French that I cannot input from my En-US keyboard layout. Well I don't know if I can do «» without changing keyboards but otherwise....

Again from a Linux point of view, if I am doing more than a few words in French I simply switch to a French (Canada) keyboard layout as Tibor suggests. However it is a trival exercise to switch in Ubuntu.
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Re: special characters insertion (for French and Spanish)

Postby CARNIVALE » Wed Apr 13, 2016 4:54 pm

Thank you both ZIZI and JK Rideau, for taking the time to help , it is much appreciated

Zizi: your suggestions :
]"you can insert special characters with the menu item: Insert - Special character[/i]


I had checked this, but if you have to go through this table of some 100 signs everytime you need to put an accent in either French or Spanish , it is a waste of time ( as far as i am concerned )
Moreover , even when i tried to select the character i wanted (ç) which by the way works well in this message , by just pressing the letter c long enough oil a small window appears asking me to choose between just 3 characters , but not in a text document ! ) the character i inserted is not of the same size than than the text i was writing ..i had to manually try to adjust it to the same size , but could not quite get the same )

You can use the Autocorract option: just set a character combination, and the ALL/LO will change it to the given character.


I am afraid i cannot find this 'autocorrect " option: can you help again ?

"You can write and apply a macro, what you can associate to a free hotkey. Then you need hit the hotkey for insert a special character."


Again , i am sorry to be thick , but this goes over my head


What i find strange, is that whilst writing this message to you all, on this Open Office Forum , i can get what I need : ie pressing on the letter requiring a special character for long enough to get a pop up window asking me to choose between 3 or 4 characters , but I do not seem to be able to do that on the "text documents " of OO ! it should be something easy to put right , no? It certainly would save a lot of manipulation and time !

Again my best regards and thanks to both
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Re: special characters insertion (for French and Spanish)

Postby FJCC » Wed Apr 13, 2016 5:05 pm

I use Compose Special Character http://extensions.services.openoffice.org/en/project/compose-special-characters and it works just fine on the latest AOO.
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Re: special characters insertion (for French and Spanish)

Postby jrkrideau » Wed Apr 13, 2016 5:17 pm

CARNIVALE wrote:T
I am afraid i cannot find this 'autocorrect " option: can you help aga


Edit > Autotext > etc.
Basically you copy in the desired text, lets say á and attach a code to it and then when you want that text type the code and press F3.




"You can write and apply a macro, what you can associate to a free hotkey. Then you need hit the hotkey for insert a special character."


Again , i am sorry to be thick , but this goes over my head


You basically write or record a miniature program called a macro and then have a key or key combination that inserts it.

/b
What i find strange, is that whilst writing this message to you all, on this Open Office Forum , i can get what I need : ie pressing on the letter requiring a special character for long enough to get a pop up window asking me to choose between 3 or 4 characters , but I do not seem to be able to do that on the "text documents " of OO ! it should be something easy to put right , no? It certainly would save a lot of manipulation and time !

Again my best regards and thanks to both


This is very strange. We need an experienced Mac/AOO user to comment here.
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Re: special characters insertion (for French and Spanish)

Postby CARNIVALE » Wed Apr 13, 2016 5:46 pm

FJCC wrote:I use Compose Special Character http://extensions.services.openoffice.org/en/project/compose-special-characters and it works just fine on the latest AOO.



Hello Fjcc

i have downloaded ( at least i think i have ) "Compose Special Character extension
and i found it in my "downloads " i have also located it , doing a search in the OO apps and it found it

but when i click on Insert , i do not see anything different :
i find
"special character: ( which was there before ) and when i select that it still leads me to this grid with a huge number of characters , and when i finally find the one i want,m it will give me a 4 digit code which does work if i apply it in my text document
but this is an antiquated way and takes for ages , and at my age , i will never remember all these codes which means that i will have to scan this grid every time !

but i guess i must do something else in order to benefit from the extension you gave me ...Do you see what i might be doing wrong ?

thanks again
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Re: special characters insertion (for French and Spanish)

Postby MrProgrammer » Wed Apr 13, 2016 10:02 pm

Hi, and welcome to the forum.

jrkrideau wrote:We need an experienced Mac/AOO user to comment here.
Here I am.

CARNIVALE wrote:i have installed open office tm 4 on my new Mac desktop
That could be the fundamental problem right there. You have a new Mac. How much do you know about using a Mac? If Mac is a new platform for you, go to your local library and borrow one of the "Introduction to Mac" or "Switching to Mac" sort of books. Skimming through this book will save your hours of time and frustration. Even one several years old, prior to El Capitán will be fine. The differences aren't much. You'd learn that typing accented characters or other special characters on a Mac is easy and the feature can be used in any application, including Open Office.

For many applications the simplest way is to press and hold the key then select the character you need by number. Unfortunately this method does not work with Open Office but it's good to know anyway. You can use it in Safari, Contacts, Calendar, Mail, Notes, Preview, TextEdit, … the standard applications from Apple.

CARNIVALE wrote:I have hit a snag: i write a lot in French and Spanish ( a lot of my documents will mix 2 or 3 languages ) and i am at a loss to find an easy way to insert accents for French and Spanish.
Generally, including Open Office, you can use the Option key on your keyboard when you need accented characters. You can read about that for your Mac in Finder → Help. Look for topics on characters or keyboard. Here is how it works on my Mac, though it's possible something has changed between Mavericks and El Capitán. First use  → System Preferences → Keyboard and enable Show Character and Keyboard Viewers in menu bar.
Screen Shot 2016-04-13 at 14.02.59 .png
The menu bar is at the very top of your screen. Click the keyboard icon there. Mine is a US flag to the left of the date because I use a US keyboard layout. Click the Show Keyboard Viewer item.
Screen Shot 2016-04-13 at 14.03.27 .png
Screen Shot 2016-04-13 at 14.03.27 .png (40.61 KiB) Viewed 5262 times
Now you'll see a screen which shows you the characters you can type with the keyboard using combinations of the modifier keys (Shift, Fn, Control, Option, and Command). Hold down the Option key. You'll see what's at the top half of this screen.
K0.jpg
Note how some of the keys are colored. If you press one of them while holding Option, it tells the Mac that you want to produce that accent. Next, release Option and type the character you want. This will insert the accented character into whatever application is running. For example, Safari is running, I hold Option, press e, release Option, and press a. This inserts an accented á into Safari, as I did when I typed El Capitán above. You can use type the non-colored characters by holding option and pressing the associated key. For example holding Option and pressing c produces ç. If you hold both Option and Shift you'll have the choices shown in the bottom half of the picture. For example holding Option and Shift and pressing C gives Ç. I think you'll find this easier than using the Compose Special Character extension for Open Office or using the Insert → Special Character dialog.

The Option key allows you to type the most commonly needed special characters. You can also use Show Character Viewer dialog (read about that in Finder's help) to insert thousands of other special characters, for example:
½ ∛ ☑ → ⑰

If this solved your problem please go to your first post use the Edit button and add [Solved] to the start of the title. You can select the green checkmark icon at the same time.
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Re: special characters insertion (for French and Spanish)

Postby CARNIVALE » Wed Apr 13, 2016 11:45 pm

Thank you Programmer for a comprehensive response
First of all, Yes i am well aware of how to apply special characters for French and Spanish on the various Macs i have had , and also on the IPAD i own
i also can apply them in this very easy way on the latest desktop i bought ..
in fact it works well on the OO forum ...the only problem is that it does not work on the Text documents of OO , as when we hold down the letter needing a special character , it keeps on repeating the letter on the document , but not giving us a window with the usual choice of characters pertaining to that letter

I have followed your instructions , enabling both "show the keyboard and character viewer" and the " use all the F1,F2 ...etc "

However when clicking on the keyboard icon i get only one keyboard ( not 2 as in yours ) mine is UK as i am in the UK
i am not getting any highlight
and do not get any of the characters you get on your second keyboard


I think i may as well give up and it is a shame ...
i will have to revert to " Pages " where there is no problems using the standard and painless method applying anywhere else using safari

( there are other compatibilities issues with Pages however when it comes down to sending docs to non Pages users ( they may have been sorted by now , i will have to check )

thanks again for your help
I just find it strange that we need to go through such convoluted method to apply special characters on a program such as OO which otherwise seems to be fairly advanced

If i decide to fork out yet more hard earned money to buy yet another 'Word package " that it will allow me to insert special characters with ease as i am able to do elsewhere on Apple ...

Thanks again to you and everyone else
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Re: special characters insertion (for French and Spanish)

Postby MrProgrammer » Thu Apr 14, 2016 7:05 pm

CARNIVALE wrote:the only problem is that it does not work on the Text documents of OO , as when we hold down the letter needing a special character , it keeps on repeating the letter on the document , but not giving us a window with the usual choice of characters pertaining to that letter
MrProgrammer wrote:Unfortunately this method does not work with Open Office
Yes, I explained previously that this feature will not work in Open Office. You'll have to use the Option key in that application.

CARNIVALE wrote:However when clicking on the keyboard icon i get only one keyboard ( not 2 as in yours ) mine is UK as i am in the UK
MrProgrammer wrote:Hold down the Option key. You'll see what's at the top half of this screen.
MrProgrammer wrote:If you hold both Option and Shift you'll have the choices shown in the bottom half of the picture.
This forum only allows three images per post. Image 1 was the System Preferences screen. Image 2 was the menu bar screen. I had to combine the last two screens into one image. Your keyboard has an Option key, correct? When I enable Show Keyboard Viewer and press Option I see:
KK0.jpg
Your screen could be different because your operating system is different than mine and your locale/keyboard is different than mine. If you don't see any colored keys, check your Mac's documentation or in the Apple support community. In the keyboard viewer when I press Option and Shift I see:
KK1.jpg

CARNIVALE wrote: think i may as well give up and it is a shame ... i will have to revert to " Pages " where there is no problems using the standard and painless method applying anywhere else using safari
Certainly use the software that works best for you.

CARNIVALE wrote:I just find it strange that we need to go through such convoluted method to apply special characters on a program such as OO
I find that using the Option key is very simple. For me, it easier than the press, hold, select technique that works in some applications. The Option key method is quite generally available, I believe, even in popular non-Apple software for your Mac like Open Office, GIMP, Google Earth, and Scribus.

CARNIVALE wrote:If i decide to fork out yet more hard earned money to buy yet another 'Word package" …
Open Office Writer is a word processor. Microsnot Word is a different word processor. Apple Pages is yet another word processor. All of them share some common features. But each has features that the others lack, and the procedures used to create/format a particular document will differ. It is a mistake to believe that one can switch easily between different word processors, as numerous topics in this forum will show. It is also a mistake to believe that every document created in one word processor will be displayed faultlessly in a different word processor.
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Re: Special characters insertion (for French and Spanish)

Postby CARNIVALE » Thu Apr 14, 2016 11:13 pm

Thank you for your patience Programmer and your help

sorry i did not understand what you said , now i do get the same as you , however it still does not solve my problem

for example
"je vais à l'école "

on your example i cannot find the "à" nor the "é" on either tof the 2 keyboards

as far as your method ( option or option + shift ) being easier than ( assuming we can find the accents i look for ) pressing and choosing the letter from a small selection of only 3 or 4 signs , i fail to comprehend as i do not need to call 2 keyboards and look for my sign on them ... but perhaps that is just me finding it a lot faster and easier ..

In any case i must still be misunderstanding something , as i do not find the signs i am looking for on either the 2 keyboards ...

I do take your point about about the different processors though

thanks again
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Re: Special characters insertion (for French and Spanish)

Postby CARNIVALE » Thu Apr 14, 2016 11:24 pm

hi again Programmer

I got it ! sorry to be slow !

a) call the key board
b) press the option Key and the highlighted keys show some accents
c)click on the accent and release
d)now the letters will appear with the accent selected , so click on the required one

I got there in 4 strokes , instead of 2 on this forum and anywhere else on the mac , but I got there
So may thanks again ..
( the other advantage on the press/hold method on Mac is that the choice of only 4 sometimes less keys to choose is easier to make not only because there is a smaller number of keys to choose from , but they appear a lot bigger , which for oldies like me is invaluable )

All the best to you
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Re: Special characters insertion (for French and Spanish)

Postby CARNIVALE » Thu Apr 14, 2016 11:29 pm

thank you everyone for being so kind and patient and for solving my query
it is much appreciated
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Re: Special characters insertion (for French and Spanish)

Postby MrProgrammer » Fri Apr 15, 2016 4:00 pm

CARNIVALE wrote:a) call the key board
b) press the option Key and the highlighted keys show some accents
c)click on the accent and release
d)now the letters will appear with the accent selected , so click on the required one
The first step is needed only if you want to see the on-screen reminder for the accent modifier keys. If you're doing this for "zillions of characters", you'll quickly learn that Option+` produces the grave accent, Option+e produces the acute accent, Option+c produces ç, etc. The Option technique works whether you've enabled Show Keyboard Viewer or not.

CARNIVALE wrote:the other advantage on the press/hold method on Mac is that … they appear a lot bigger
This isn't an issue if you are producing the accents by memory instead of by sight. And once you learn the Option techinque, I think you'll find it's faster than "press and hold" You should be able to use the Option technique anywhere you can use "press and hold".

CARNIVALE wrote:thank you everyone for being so kind and patient and for solving my query
Since this solved your problem please go to your first post use the Edit button and add [Solved] to the start of the title. You can select the green checkmark icon at the same time. Doing so helps others find this solution.
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