Easy Typography for Windows
Typing special characters like em and en dashes, quotation marks, arrows, etc. has always been painful in Windows.
It is no longer, thanks to Easy Typography for Windows. Now, you can easily type stuff like naïve, Über, jalapeños, α → β, CO₂, etc.
Currently, the solutions for the typography problem are:
- Learn all the ALT codes (impossible and doesn’t really cover all the necessary cases)
- Use the Character Map app (naïve, far from convenient)
- Use Ilya Birman’s typography keyboard layout (doesn’t include touch keyboard layout for Windows 8, so it doesn't work well on touch screen devices; not customizable)
- Use Easy Typography for Windows (easy to use, simple, and customizable; plays well with Windows 8 touch keyboard).
Easy Typography for Windows is an AutoHotkey script that enables you to type cool Unicode characters with simple Alt (and sometimes Shift) keystrokes.
It’s open source, feel free to modify it for your needs.
To get straight to the action, download etw.exe and launch it. If you want it loaded with Windows, put it in the Startup directory.
If you want to modify your keystrokes, install AutoHotkey and put the file AutoHotkey.ahk in your Documents directory. To modify the script, edit the file and click Reload This Script in the AutoHotkey notification area icon context menu.
AutoHotkey syntax used in the .ahk file is dead simple:
- >! means right Alt
- <^>! means Alt Gr
- + means Shift
- ^ means Ctrl
- The character after these is the key you want to use
- The character after ::Send is the resulting character
For example, >!0::Send → means “right Alt + 0 produces right arrow”, and >!+3::Send ³ means “right Alt + Shift + 3 produces superscript 3.”