1. I can’t see the special characters on the buttons!

  • If you cannot see the characters in the European language keyboards, you’re probably using an unsupported browser (see Question 3).
  • If some of the symbols in the IPA for English keyboard or full IPA keyboard do not display correctly, your best bet is to download and install a free IPA-enabled font, for example one of the SIL fonts (Charis SIL, Gentium Plus or Doulos SIL) or one of the fonts from the Libertine Open Fonts Projekt (Linux Libertine, Linux Biolinum). If you use Windows XP, you might also consider upgrading to Windows 7, which would give you several excellent-looking IPA fonts, most notably Segoe UI and Cambria.

2. I can type the characters on your site, but when I paste them to my document, I get garbage!

Your target document probably uses a font that doesn’t have all the necessary characters. Make sure you choose the right font in your document.

For European languages, virtually all fonts will work fine; for IPA symbols, you may need something like Lucida Sans Unicode Segoe UI or Lucida Grande. Detailed information on recommended fonts is available on the IPA for English and Full IPA pages.

3. The keyboard shortcuts and buttons don’t seem to work properly.

Are you using one of the supported browser versions? TypeIt supports the following browsers: Mozilla Firefox 35 and higher, Safari 8 and higher, Internet Explorer 8 and higher, Google Chrome (except for some issues). Safari for iOS is supported, but subject to OS limitations like poor support for hardware keyboards.

If you’re using a supported browser version, please report any bugs to me at the e-mail address shown on the About page.

4. A few of the keyboard shortcuts don’t work.

If some of the keyboard shortcuts work, but others don’t, there are two possibilities:

  1. You are using a browser which is not fully supported, such as Google Chrome on Windows. Some browsers make it impossible to override their built-in shortcuts, such as Ctrl + N (opens a new window in Chrome) or Ctrl + O (brings up the Open dialog in Safari for Windows). See question 7.
  2. You are using a foreign (non-US) keyboard. Some national keyboards generate different key codes for certain keys like ; or / and TypeIt is unable to recognize them.

As a backup mechanism, TypeIt provides a secondary keyboard shortcut in such cases. For example, when typing Spanish accents, the ¿ character can be typed by pressing either Ctrl + / or Ctrl + 2. You can use the secondary shortcut or just press the ¿ button on the toolbar, whichever you find less awkward.

5. How do I insert the special characters into an HTML page?

First of all, you shouldn’t have to convert the characters into HTML entities (e.g. é or —). That is so 1990s! In the 21st century, all you need is a Unicode-capable editor (even the Windows Notepad will do fine):

  1. Open your HTML file.
  2. (optional) If your editor has an option to set the encoding of your file, set it to UTF-8.
  3. Copy your symbols from TypeIt and paste them into your HTML code in the editor. Some characters may appear as squares or question marks — this means that the particular character is missing from the font in your editor. The characters should render fine on the actual page provided that you’ve specified the proper font-family in your CSS.
  4. When you save your file, choose UTF-8 encoding. (This may not be necessary if you have already set the encoding in step 2.)
  5. Do one of the following:

    • Serve your page with the following HTTP header (you can specify the header in your Web server configuration or in the script which serves your page): Content-type: text/html; charset=utf-8
    • Alternatively, add the following line to the <HEAD> section of your HTML file: <meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8">

6. How can I secure my privacy while using TypeIt?

TypeIt automatically saves your text in your browser so that it can be restored if you accidentally navigate to another site, close the tab, or if your browser crashes (note that this does not work in all browsers). This data is stored in what is called a “browsing session”. Depending on your browser, the browsing session may persist even after you close the tab or exit the browser – this is designed to enable you to do things like restoring a tab after you close it accidentally, or restoring all your tabs after you exit the browser. This means that someone with access to your computer could read your text, even after you exit TypeIt. Potentially, your text could even be read by another site you visit.

If you want to keep your text completely private, you can do one of two things:

  • When you’re done, delete your text. This can be done by clicking the Clear all button. Then, close the TypeIt tab. This will make sure your text is no longer stored in your browser.
  • When you’re going to type something sensitive, use Private Browsing, Incognito Mode or a similar feature in your browser. When you exit this special mode, all the data saved by TypeIt will be deleted.

7. Why is there a problem with certain shortcuts on Google Chrome?

Google Chrome makes it impossible to use certain shortcuts in a Web application. For example, Ctrl + N always opens a new window and there is no way to change that behavior. The same goes for Ctrl + W (close window) and Ctrl + T (new tab). As a result, when you try to type ñ in the Spanish keyboard (shortcut: Ctrl + N), you will not only not get the character you wanted; you will also create a new Chrome window, which you will then have to close.

This annoying issue has been reported to the Chrome developers. The solution that has been suggested is to allow Web apps to ask for permission to access the entire keyboard. However, no actual work is being done to implement this idea. You can help bring more attention to this problem: go to the Chromium bug tracker site and star this issue.