Teaching and Learning with Technology

Computing With Accents and Foreign Scripts

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Latin (with Long Marks)

If you are typing Latin without long marks or combined letters æ,œ as two vowels, then you need do nothing, but if you need to include these characters, then you may want to use these tools.

Note on Acute Accents: For information about adding acute accents to vowels (e.g. á,é,í,ó,ú,ý) see the Old English page. There is no accented œ in Unicode.

Note: See the Web Development section for information about other languages using long marks.

This Page

  1. Long Marks in Unicode
  2. Browser and Font Setup
  3. Typing Long Marks
    1. Windows Word Alt Codes
    2. Windows Māori Keyboard
    3. Macintosh OS X Extended Keyboard Accent Codes
    4. Windows Char Map System Set Up Tab
  4. Web Development
    1. Language Codes: la (Latin)
  5. Links

Long Marks and Unicode

Unlike other accent marks (e.g. á, ä), Latin long marks are not a part of the older Latin 1 encoding set used for Spanish, French, German, Italian and other Western European languages, but they are a part of Unicode.

Therefore, they are not supported in every font or software program. Nor are there simple accent codes for these characters. However, programs with basic Unicode support can generally support long marks.

Browser and Font Setup

Browser Setup

Please note which fonts are needed for each platform before viewing instructions to configure your browsers in the Preferences or Tools menu. Most browsers are recommended, but older browsers like Netscape 4.7 may need more adjustments.

Fonts by Platform

In general, although many "everyday" fonts include long marks, they are missing in decorative fonts such as Comic Sans MS, Chalkboard and others.

Additional freeware fonts can be downloaded the sites below. These fonts are designed for medieval or ancient scholars.

Recommended Browsers

Browsers which fully support Unicode are strongly recommended. Click link in list to view configuration instructions. You will be asked to match a script with a font.

Manually Switch Encoding

If you see question marks or odd characters instead of Latin long vowels you will need to manually switch from Western encoding view to the Unicode encoding under the View menu of your browser.

Typing Long Marks

Windows Word Alt Codes

If you are using a recent version of Microsoft Word (2003+), you can use the  following ALT key plus a numeric code can be used to type a Latin character (accented letter or punctuation symbol) in any Windows application.

Notes on the Codes

Word ALT Codes for long vowels

Capital Vowels
Vwl ALT Code
Ā ALT+0256
Cap long A
Ē ALT+0274
Cap long E
Ī ALT+0298
Cap long I
Ō ALT+0332
Cap long O
Ū ALT+0362
Cap long U
Ȳ ALT+0562
Cap long Y
Æ ALT+0198
Cap AE lig
Cap OE lig
Lower Vowels
Vwl ALT Code
ā ALT+0257
Lower long A
ē ALT+0275
Lower long E
ī ALT+0299
Lower long I
ō ALT+0333
Lower long O
ū ALT+0363
Lower long U
ȳ ALT+0563
Lower long Y
æ ALT+0230
Lower AE lig
œ ALT+0156
Lower OE lig

Windows Māori Keyboard

Recent versions of Windows include a Maori keyboard utility which allows users to easily type long marks from the keyboard. Users can either activate it from the control panel or download it from Microsoft New Zealand.

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Macintosh OS X Extended Keyboard Accent Codes

For long vowels, you can switch to the the U.S. Extended keyboard then type Option+A, then the vowel.
Note: You can also use the Hawaiian keyboard for macrons.

Mac Extended Accent Codes
Macron ā, Ā Option+A, V
AE Ligature æ, Æ

Option+' (singequote) = lowercase AE ligature
Shift+Option+' = capital AE Ligature

OE Ligature œ, Œ

Option+Q (singequote) = lowercase OE ligature
Shift+Option+Q = capital OE Ligature

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Unicode Accent Codes for HTML

Encoding and Language Tags

These are metadata codes which indicate the page of a language. These codes allow browsers and screen readers to identify and process data as the appropriate language. All letters in codes are lower case.

See Using Encoding and Language Codes for more information on the meaning and implementation of these codes.

The HTML Entity Codes

Use these codes to input accented letters in HTML. For instance, if you want to type bōnus with a long O, you would type bōnus. These numbers are also used with the Windows Word Alt codes listed above.

NOTE: Your page should declare utf-8 encoding or else the characters may not display in older browsers. Because these are Unicode characters, the formatting may not exactly match that of the surrounding text depending on the browser.

Unicode Entity Codes for long vowels

Capital Vowels
Vwl Entity Code
Capital Long A
Capital Long E
Capital Long I
Capital Long O
Capital Long U
Cap long Y
Cap AE lig
Cap OE lig
Lower Vowels
Vwl Entity Code
ā ā
Lower long A
ē ē
Lower long E
ī ī
Lower long I
ō ō
Lower long O
ū ū
Lower long U
ȳ ȳ
Lower long Y
æ æ
AE lig
œ œ
OE lig

Using Encoding and Language Codes

Computers process text by assuming a certain encoding or a system of matching electronic data with visual text characters. Whenever you develop a Web site you need to make sure the proper encoding is specified in the header tags; otherwise the browser may default to U.S. settings and not display the text properly.

To declare an encoding, insert or inspect the following meta-tag at the top of your HTML file, then replace "???" with one of the encoding codes listed above. If you are not sure, use utf-8 as the encoding.

Generic Encoding Template

<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=??? ">

Declare Unicode

<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8 ">


The final close slash must be included after the final quote mark in the encoding header tag if you are using XHTML

Declare Unicode in XHTML

<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8" />

No Encoding Declared

If no encoding is declared, then the browser uses the default setting, which in the U.S. is typically Latin-1. Some display errors may occur.

Language Tags

Language tags are also suggested so that search engines and screen readers parse the language of a page. These are metadata tags which indicate the language of a page, not devices to trigger translation. Visit the Language Tag page to view information on where to insert it.

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Font Repositories

Web Development

These links focus on Māori and Hawai'ian, but can also be used for Latin.

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Last Modified: Tuesday, 04-Jun-2013 12:39:59 EDT