The Norwegian class on the Net

Typing the Norwegian characters on the IBM PC

(For Apple Macintosh instructions, click here.)

Norwegian has three vowels not found in English: æ, ø, and å. There are several ways to generate these characters on a PC, and in addition there is a standard way to represent them with ordinary ASCII characters.

Method 1 - install keyboard driver.

The most direct way to get Norwegian characters (on a PC running Windows) is to load the Norwegian keyboard driver. This lets you switch between your regular keyboard mapping and a Norwegian variant which has the three additional characters in place of some punctuations. In Windows 95, for example, you can do this by choosing the following:

Control Panel

Then you select "Norwegian (Bokmal)" from the list and choose the hot-key combination you will use to switch between the two keyboards. You must have the Windows installations disks or CD, or have the appropriate installation files on your hard disk.

Method 2 - use Alt key.

Windows allows you to compose characters not found on the keyboard by holding down the Alt key while keying a sequence on the numeric keypad to the right of the keyboard. For some of the Norwegian vowels there exist both 3-digit and 4-digit number sequences; for some only 4-digit sequences seem to work.

Alt Sequences

Method 3 - Character Map

Most Windows installations have a Character Map under Accessories, which lets you select special characters and paste them into your application. In some versions you can also map those special characters to keystroke combinations. Most people find the Character Map too awkward for Norwegian, where you can count on at least one or two special characters per sentence.

Method 4 - two-letter representations

If none of the above methods work, or if you are on a different type of computer, the following equivalents are recognized:

æ : ae
ø : oe
å : aa

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Page updated 11 June 2001 by Pierre Thomson