A lot of English-speaking visitors don't have accents on their keyboards. As they are learning French, they may already know alternative ways to type accented characters; but shouldn't the site provide some easy way to to so, and document it in the formatting help?

The Mathematics Stack Exchange has facilities for math formulae, for example.

Accents are an integral part of French so I think we must ensure everyone can type them easily. At the very least, if we add no special functionality, I think we could document the existing ways somewhere.

  • Yeah, and not only just english-speaking visitors, really. Most keyboard layouts do not make it easy to type diacritics. :)
    – reg
    Commented Aug 26, 2011 at 8:14
  • No problem : ask your question, answer your answer first, without any accent, and a french person put them. I do that in english : I speak english like a spanish cow, and some amical person translate it to oxford english !
    – Istao
    Commented Nov 4, 2013 at 6:07

2 Answers 2


Potentially good idea, however on EL&U they seem to have managed to do IPA without any clever widgets.


For what it's worth, I have my own keyboard layout for Windows which I use to type French accents, which is based on the UK extended keyboard layout but uses Ctrl+Alt+comma as a meta-key for grave accents, instead of hijacking the backtick key. it can be downloaded here.

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