If you have the need to type anything in a foreign language which has accents and other strange-looking characters, and you only have a US keyboard, your life used to be miserable. You used to have to do one of the following:
- ignore the special characters
- memorize cryptic keyboard “shortcuts” such as Alt+0128
- go letter-hunting with the Character Map in Windows or Word
- install OS keyboard layouts which have the nasty side effect of interfering with your ability to type punctuation
- buy and install third-party text input software
TypeIt uses a unique keyboard shortcut system which has two big advantages:
- It is very respectful of your existing keyboard layout and doesn’t “take over” important keys like punctuation and digits.**
- It uses really obvious shortcuts. For example, to get an accented letter based on e, just hold Alt* and keep pressing E until you get the letter you want. In the French keyboard, one press will type é, two presses – è, three presses – ê, etc. Because all the variants of e are assigned to a single key, the number of things that you have to memorize to use this system is virtually zero. (Compare this with a system where every accented letter has a separate shortcut and you can never remember which key types which letter.)
The above system works very well for most languages which use the Latin alphabet, such as Spanish, for other scripts based on Latin letters, such as the IPA phonetic script, and even for math symbols. However, there is no typing scheme that is ideal for all languages. For languages which use a large number of diacritics, like Vietnamese, TypeIt provides dedicated shortcuts for each diacritic. For languages which do not use the Latin alphabet at all, like Russian or Greek, TypeIt uses easy-to-learn, “phonetic” keyboard layouts that match Latin letters with similar-sounding letters in the other alphabet.
It takes time and money to keep this site up and running, and to make sure it is always compatible with the latest browser versions. Financial support for TypeIt comes largely from users like you. If you use TypeIt and would like it to stay online, please consider supporting it with a little money. Thank you!
TypeIt supports the following browsers: Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Safari and Microsoft Edge (except for some issues). Safari for iOS is supported, but subject to OS limitations like poor support for hardware keyboards.
In other browsers, there will likely be problems with keyboard shortcuts and other glitches.
I got the idea of making this site from the Russian keyboard made by my two friends, Michał Ryszard Wójcik and Michał Stanisław Wójcik (yes, they have the same first and last names).
My name is Tomasz P. Szynalski. I also made Antimoon – a site which tells people how to learn English effectively (much of the advice applies to other languages), and Online Tone Generator – a popular Web tool that lets you easily generate audio signals of any frequency.
I spend a lot of time thinking about philosophical and practical topics; I publish some of the practical stuff here. I live in Wrocław, Poland.
Your suggestions and bug reports are very welcome. If you can send me a short note describing what you use TypeIt for (your work? personal e-mail? school assignments?), that would be great, too. Here’s my e-mail address:
Stuff you type. The text you type into TypeIt remains on your computer. It is not sent to any servers nor stored in any database. However, 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. This means that people with access to your computer may be able to read the last text you typed. For more information, see “How can I secure my privacy while using TypeIt?”.
Cookies. TypeIt uses its own cookies (and similar technologies) to improve your experience, for example to remember your preferences and to save your text (see above). (In case you didn’t read the paragraph above, your saved text never leaves your computer.) In addition, it uses Google cookies (and similar technologies) to analyze traffic and serve ads. By using this site, you agree to this.
Data sharing. Information about your use of this site (the pages you visited, your IP address, your browser version, etc.) is shared with Google for the purposes of analyzing traffic (Google Analytics) and serving ads. None of the data shared with Google includes your name, address, email address or telephone number. (more information about how Google uses information about your visits)
Personalized ads. In order to show you the most relevant ads, Google tries to figure out what kinds of goods and services you may be interested in. It does so by collecting certain information about you – for example, your geographical location, your Google searches, and your visits to this and other websites. This information does not include your name, address, email address or telephone number. Google will use this information when deciding which ads to show you when you visit this site. However, if you are in a country where GDPR applies, information about your past behavior (visits to other sites, previous searches, etc.) will not be used for personalization on this site. You will still see ads, but they will be targeted using contextual information, such as your general geographical location (e.g. the city you’re in) or the contents of the current page.