1. I can’t see the special characters on the buttons!
- 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).
- If you cannot see the characters in the European language keyboards (French, Spanish, Russian, Greek, etc.), you’re probably using an unsupported browser (see Question 3).
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, including Russian and Greek, virtually all fonts will work fine. For non-European languages, IPA symbols, mathematical symbols and other symbols, you may need a font with good character coverage, such as Segoe UI (Windows), Cambria (Windows) or Lucida Grande (Mac).
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: Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari and Microsoft Edge (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:
- You are using a browser which is not fully supported. Some browsers make it impossible to override their built-in shortcuts – for example, Ctrl + P in Microsoft Edge will always open the Print dialog, regardless of what character is assigned to that shortcut.
- 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 Alt + / or Alt + 2 (Ctrl+/, Ctrl+2 in Edge). The second shortcut is meant for keyboard layouts on which the primary shortcut doesn’t work properly.
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):
- Open your HTML file.
- (optional) If your editor has an option to set the encoding of your file, set it to UTF-8.
- 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.
- When you save your file, choose UTF-8 encoding. (This may not be necessary if you have already set the encoding in step 2.)
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">
- 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):
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. This saved data remains in your browser’s permanent storage. This means that someone with access to your computer (and some technical skills) could read your text long after you visit TypeIt.
If you want to keep your text completely private, you should first enter private mode in your browser (this mode can be called “Private Browsing”, “Incognito Mode”, etc.). When you exit this special mode, all the data saved by TypeIt will be deleted. (Make sure you don’t lose your text by accident – you can’t get it back if you are in private mode!)
If you forgot to switch to private mode, you can remove your text from browser storage in the following way:
- With your text visible in the textbox, click the Clear button. This will remove the text from the textbox and from the browser storage for the current editor.
- However, due to browser privacy restrictions, there is a separate permanent storage for every editor (for example, the French, Russian and Greek editors each have separate storage). So, if you switched editors while your text was in the textbox, each editor’s storage now holds a separate copy of your text. That is why, after you click Clear, you have to navigate to every editor that you used (you can use the browser’s Back button for that) – this will overwrite the stored data with the new (empty) data.
- If your text doesn’t appear in any editor, that means it is no longer stored.
7. Why does TypeIt use different shortcuts on different browsers?
Every major browser is crippled in some way when it comes to supporting keyboard shortcuts. For instance, in Google Chrome, we cannot assign the Spanish ñ to Ctrl + N because if you press Ctrl + N, Chrome will open a new window, and this behavior cannot be changed. In Microsoft Edge, we cannot assign ð (used in IPA and Icelandic keyboards) to Alt + D because Alt + D always moves the cursor to the address bar. There’s a whole list of issues like these.
For this reason, TypeIt will detect your browser and intelligently choose the “modifier key” – Alt or Ctrl – that it uses for keyboard shortcuts in order to minimize the amount of problems. If possible, it will use Alt, because it’s easier to reach than Ctrl, but if your browser has more complete support for Ctrl-shortcuts than for Alt-shortcuts, it will use Ctrl instead. Currently, the modifier in Firefox, Chrome and Safari is Alt; in Internet Explorer and Edge it’s Ctrl.
You can change the modifier in the Settings menu – but you’re likely to run into problems with certain shortcuts, especially if you use Chrome, Internet Explorer or Edge.