Mr. Modem: Create foreign language characters - East Valley Tribune: Business

Mr. Modem: Create foreign language characters

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Posted: Monday, July 7, 2008 11:15 am | Updated: 11:41 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

Q. How can I create special characters, such as accent marks that appear over French and Spanish letters?

A. Special keystroke combinations will provide those (and many other) special characters. For example, using the numeric keypad located to the far right of most keyboards, if you press ALT + 0234, it will create the ê symbol. (Just to clarify, hold down the ALT key, then press 0-2-3-4 in sequence, then release the keys.)

For additional special characters, please read my cleverly named “Special Characters” article (, or Accents, Symbols & Foreign Scripts Web site ( explains how to create accent marks and special characters in hundreds of languages, from Afrikaans to Yiddish. Sorry, no Zulu.

Q. How can I create a bookmark in Microsoft Word? I continually lose my place when I’m working on long documents.

A. I create some fairly lengthy documents when writing books and articles, so I understand the problem. In fact, until I discovered how to add bookmarks to my Word documents, I was frequently dazed, confused and disoriented—though Mrs. Modem claims she hasn’t noticed any improvement.

To add a bookmark to a Word document, click Insert > Bookmark, type in a name in the “Bookmark Name:” field and click the Add button.

Word will not permit you to use spaces between words in a bookmark name, but that’s easy to circumvent if you separate words with an underscore or run words together. For example, if I want to return to a section on Digital Photography in an article I’m writing, I can use “DigitalPhotography” or “Digital_Photography” for the purpose of creating a bookmark.

To jump to a bookmark, click Insert > Bookmark, select the bookmark and press the “Go To” button. As an alternative, press the keystroke combination CTRL + G, select Bookmark in the “Go to what?” column, select the specific bookmark (if you created multiple bookmarks), then click the “Go To” button.

For a far less sophisticated method (what else would you expect from Mr. Modem?), at a location to be bookmarked type in the characters XXXX, then save the file. When you need to return to that location, open the file, press CTRL + F, and on the Find tab in the Find and Replace dialog box, type XXXX and press the “Find Next” button.

Mr. Modem's Sites of the Week

Happy 4th of July!

Excellent fireworks display, courtesy of YouTube.

The Abacus

Calculators, shmalculators; where’s the challenge with that? If you want to impress your friends, colleagues, neighbors and cell mates, the next time a calculation is needed, whip out the old abacus and you’ll become an instant legend in your own mind. The art of calculating with beads is alive and well on the Web. Don’t miss the Interactive Abacus Tutor. (Eat your heart out Texas Instruments.)

The Cat’s Meow

If you’re a cat lover, this Web site features everything you need to know about feline health, training and behavior, plus cat trivia, games, cat puzzles, cat toys, and there is even a special cookbook for cats. (Okay, maybe that crosses the line.) The Cat’s Meow is an “online weekly newsletter of spirituality, inspiration and humor for cat lovers.”

Map Your Ancestors

Provide your family chronology, with photos, and this site will place them on a Google Map. The site uses a map of the Bush Family Ancestry as an example. To create your own family map, the site provides a couple of downloadable Excel spreadsheets. One is more recreational in nature and for beginners; the other is a full-fledged family tree for serious genealogists. After providing your information, allow approximately 48 hours for your map to be created. The service is free, though donations are cheerfully accepted. The site works best with Internet Explorer.

For plain-English answers to your questions by email, plus useful PC tips, subscribe to Mr. Modem’s Weekly Newsletter. For information, visit

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