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Optimize Your PC for German

DeKey for Windows Vista or XP

Free Download

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Type Easily in German

Here's a neat little program for PC users that makes it much easier to type German characters on a U.S. or U.K. keyboard. We can offer it to you free — thanks to a nice reader who contacted me about the following offer:

I am in week one of attempting to learn German. I was immediately frustrated by the inconvenience of typing key codes or using the international U.S. keyboard. Since I'm a software engineer I decided to create a new German-specific keymap for Windows Vista/XP.

How it works is simple...

Right-Alt +...
a = ä
A = Ä
o = ö
O = Ö
u = ü
U = Ü
e = é
s = ß
$ (or 4) = €
< (or ,) = «
> (or .) = »

(The last three are available with or without holding shift simply for ease of typing)

The above was as intuitive as I could come up with. Since I am still learning German, what seems intuitive to me may not be intuitive to someone who is well versed. Since none of the above key combinations do anything in the normal U.S. keyboard, there is no conflict or re-learning needed.

In any event, I have created this "keymap" and an installer for Windows Vista/XP. If you believe it would be of any use to your readers, I am happy to make it available.

- Paul Harker


Thanks to Paul, we can offer this "keymap" program to you as a free download. He has now provided the Version 1.3 revision with a few more improvements (March 2007). See the download link below.

Download Disclaimer
This is freeware for Windows Vista or XP. It is offered as is, with no guarantees.

New in Version 1.3 (Mar. 29, 2007):
  • Added support for US Dvorak keyboards
  • Added option to type ß using Right-Alt + b/B
    (work-around for those with hotkey conflicts)
  • Added Uninstall instructions

All three versions (US, UK, US Dvorak) are included in the zip file (Ver 1.3).
See the appropriate Readme.html file in each folder for more (after unzip).

Version 1.2 (Oct. 24, 2006) - Changes based on user feedback:
  • Added version for United Kingdom keyboards
  • Work-around for hotkey conflicts with CTRL-ALT-A (US & UK versions)

Version 1.0 (Oct. 8, 2006)

DOWNLOAD: DeKey (ZIP) - Ver. 1.3 for Windows Vista/XP

NOTE: If updating from any previous version, you must first uninstall any older version of DeKey.


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