in 1999-2000 I wrote a couple of articles about Using Windows
to Create Documents in the Czech Language. These articles were
aimed primarily at the Windows 95 and Windows 98 operating systems
and described how to set up Multi-language Support, and use
the keyboard layouts. While all of the information in those
two articles is still true using Czech diacritical marks on
your computer is much easier now if you are using the latest
Windows operating system-Windows XP.
Support is now essentially built into Windows XP, however, you
still need to set up the Czech keyboard. In XP this is done
by going into the Control Panel, via the Start Button in the
lower left of the screen, and selecting Regional and Language
Options. In that window select the Language tab and follow the
instructions to add a language to your keyboard. In this case
you would select Czech (or Slovak or both). Once this is done
you will be able to switch back and forth between the keyboards.
Usually entering Control/Shift in sequence will switch from
one to the other.
this point we are back to the old information because once you
switch your keyboard to Czech you still have to use the keyboard
layouts and the key combinations shown in the original articles
to input characters with diacritical marks. I did that for a
long time and it works fine however, in Windows XP there is
a wonderful feature that makes all of this much easier.
somewhat obscure feature is called the On-Screen Keyboard. If
you have already found it then you are way ahead. When you select
the On-Screen Keyboard a keyboard in graphical form appears
on your screen. It will always be on top no matter what you
are doing, and it can be moved around the screen if it gets
in the way. Better yet when you switch to Czech the On-Screen
Keyboard will show you the Czech keyboard layout and where the
diacritical characters are located. Even better, you can use
your mouse to enter the character that you want, including capital