Computers make for easier personal correspondence, word processing and e-mail messaging, but when writing in a foreign language, computer-based writing can become more confusing than convenient. Glancing at a standard PC keyboard, there does not appear to be easy keystroke options for common French characters; however, Microsoft Word does have many specialized letters built into the program, allowing for a quick fix to the foreign language typist's dilemma.
Open Microsoft Word.
Select the "Insert" tab located near the top left-hand corner of the screen.
Click on the "Symbol" option, located near the top right-hand side of the screen. This will bring up an abbreviated list of many commonly used symbols.
Click on "More Symbols" to view the full MS Word list of special letters. This will bring up a new window full of symbol options.
Scroll the list of symbol options until you find the desired French letter. You can click "insert" to put the letter into your Word document, or you can opt to use the shortcut provided. Most symbols in the MS Word symbol library are affixed to associated shortcut keystrokes. This means that once you locate the symbol, you can memorize the shortcut code for instant insertion in future documents.
These directions are for the latest version of Microsoft Word, 2007. French letter insertion procedures are similar, but not identical, in other editions of Microsoft Word.