User:360094Rainbow/Sandbox15

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AZERTY layout used in Belgium
Same Belgian keyboard under Linux (Ubuntu 9.10)
AZERTY layout used in France

AZERTY is a specific layout for the characters of the Latin alphabet on typewriter keys and computer keyboards. An AZERTY keyboard is an alphanumeric keyboard on which the keys are marked according to the AZERTY layout. The layout takes its name from the first six letters to appear on the first row of alphabetical keys. Like the Germanic QWERTZ layout, it is modeled on the English QWERTY layout, and it is used by French speakers based in Europe, though France and Belgium each have their own national variations on the basic layout. Most of the inhabitants of Quebec, the French-speaking province of Canada, use a QWERTY keyboard that has been adapted to the French language, although the government of Quebec and the Canadian federal government stipulate and use the Multilingual Standard keyboard CAN/CSA Z243.200-92[1],[2],[3].

The AZERTY system is often criticized because it does not allow easy access to the extra characters required in French, but this has less to do with the actual layout of the keys than with the operating systems and drivers being used. It is perfectly possible to use drivers that allow quick access to the necessary additional letters, and in fact Windows is the only software which fails to offer easy access in its basic configuration[4],[5],[6],[7]. The competing layouts devised for French (the ZHJAYSCPG layout put forward in 1907, Claude Marsan’s 1976 layout, the 2002 Dvorak-fr and the 2005 Bépo layout) have won only limited recognition, despite being better suited to the task of keying in the language.

qwgywlig.bwqkjqee qjeyyejn

General information regarding AZERTY keyboards[edit]

French AZERTY layout for PCs
Clavier AZERTY français pour un PC portable, sans pavé numérique
French AZERTY layout for laptops

Several details should be noted:

  • the Ctrl key has exactly the same effect (rapid completion of actions) whether it is used on the right or the left side of the keyboard;
  • the same is true of the Maj [Caps]key (for upper case letters and/or variants on rapid completion of actions);
  • the Alt Gr key (to the right of the space bar on PC keyboards) allows the user to type the character shown at the bottom right of any key with three characters;
  • the Alt key (to the left of the space bar) is mainly used as a short cut for commands affecting windows, and, under the Windows and Linux operating systems, it is also used in conjunction with ASCII codes for typing special characters. Under Macintosh, this key, which is located to either side of the space bar, gives access to the € symbol (engraved on the same key as the $ symbol). Also, in combination with certain keys, such as o, a, c and ? , for example, it gives quick access to useful characters such as œ, æ, © or ¿.

Dead keys[edit]

A dead key is one which, when struck, produces no image on the screen, but serves to modify the appearance of the next character to be typed on the keyboard Dead keys are mainly used to generate accents (or diacritics) on vowels.

Circumflex accent[edit]

A circumflex accent can be generated by first striking the ^ key (located to the right of P in most AZERTY layouts), then the vowel requiring the accent (with the exception of y).

 a e i o u A E I O U  
 => 
 â ê î ô û Â Ê Î Ô Û  

Diaeresis[edit]

A diaeresis can be generated by striking the ¨ key (in most AZERTY layouts, it is generated by combining the Maj + ^ keys), then the vowel requiring the accent (apart from upper case “y”, even though the character Y is perfectly allowable).

French examples : naïf, noël, L'Haÿ-les-Roses, Loïc

 a e i o u y A E I O U 
 => 
 ä ë ï ö ü ÿ Ä Ë Ï Ö Ü 

Grave accent[edit]

The grave accent can be generated by striking the ` key (in the French AZERTY layout it is located to the right of the “ù” key on Macintosh keyboards, while on PC type keyboards it can be generated by using the combination Alt Gr + è. In the Belgian AZERTY layout, the ` key is generated by the combination Alt Gr + µ; the µ key is located to the right of the ù key on Belgian AZERTY keyboards) then the key for the vowel requiring the accent (with the exception of y).

French examples : APRÈS

 a e i o u A E I O U 
 => 
 à è ì ò ù À È Ì Ò Ù 

Acute accent[edit]

The acute accent, which is a common diacritic in the French language (on the E of the word Etat, for example) is available under Windows (for the French AZERTY layout) by the use of Alt + a code, see below.

For Linux users, it can be generated using the Caps Lock (upper case lock), é.

On a Macintosh AZERTY keyboard, apart from the letter ”é”, which is already represented, the acute accent is generated by a combination of the Alt + Maj + &, keys, while in the Belgian AZERTY layout (on PC keyboards), it can be generated by a combination of Alt Gr + ù. The vowel requiring the accent (with the exception of upper case y) then needs to be typed in order to complete the operation.

French examples : ÉLEVÉ

 a e i o u y A E I O U 
 => 
 á é í ó ú ý Á É Í Ó Ú 

Tilde[edit]

The tilde is a diacritic used in Spanish, for example. It is also a character used in programming, for example in C++ language.

It is available under Windows (for the French AZERTY layout) using a combination of the Alt Gr + é keys. The letter requiring the tilde (a, o or n) then needs to be typed in order to complete the operation.

Spanish examples : Español

 a o n A O N 
 => 
 ã õ ñ Ã Õ Ñ 

Shift Key ⇧ (Majuscule ⇧)[edit]

This key does not merely serve to type upper case letters but, as its English name suggests, has to do with a shift in position. Originally, on mechanical typewiters, depressing this key actually moved the entire carriage, giving access to a second series of characters located at the top of the typebars, and thereby making it possible to type upper case letters. The number keys, «;», «?» and other characters were added by this method, but the accented capital letters É, È, Ç and À had unfortunately to be omitted. Its other use was to unlock the French verr maj (caps lock) key, a specific function on the Windows 95 French keyboard (inherited from typewriters) «lost» with the arrival of Windows XP, but easily reactivated via General Options and Linguistics.

Alt key[edit]

Main article: Alt code

With some operating systems, the Alt key generates characters by means of their individual codes. In order to obtain characters, the Alt key must be pressed and held down while typing the relevant code into the numeric keypad.

For example, under Windows the following characters are generated:

  • ² : Alt + 0178,
  • ³: Alt + 0179,
  • œ: Alt + 0156,
  • Œ: Alt + 0140,
  • ©: Alt + 0169
  • À : Alt + 0192,
  • Ç: Alt + 0199,
  • É: Alt + 0201
  • ë: Alt + 0235,
  • Ø: Alt + 0216,
  • ø: Alt + 0248,
  • á: Alt + 0225,
  • í: Alt + 0237,
  • ú: Alt + 0225,
  • ®: Alt + 0174,
  • ã: Alt + 0227,
  • ñ = Alt + 0241,
  • €: Alt + 0128, (can be accessed directly using Alt Gr + e )
  • Ï: Alt + 0207,
  • È: Alt + 0200,
  • Ù: Alt + 0217,
  • †: Alt + 0134
  • etc. the full list is available under the «character table», which is part of Windows (in Vista go to Start/All Programs/Accessories/System Tools/Character Map)

The initial «0» is important. In fact, without it, Windows will access code page 437 or MS-DOS code page 850. Also, whereas Alt + 0128 generates the symbol, Alt + 128 generates the Ç symbol.

Under Linux, the ALT key gives direct access to French language special characters. The ligatures œ and æ can be keyed in by using either Alt Gr + o or Alt Gr + a respectively, in the fr-oss keyboard layout; their upper case equivalents can be generated using the same key combinations plus the French Shift key (Majuscule ⇧). Other useful punctuation symbols, such as , , , or the suspension points … can be more easily accessed in the same way.

Residual key: the original function of the verr maj ⇪ (caps lock ⇪) key[edit]

  • The verr maj [caps lock] key was originally used to lock the typewriter carriage in a raised position, a function that still existed on AZERTY keyboards predating Windows XP; rather than «caps lock» (referring to capitals or upper case letters), its real English name was «shift lock». When this key was pressed down, the only way to type a character from the first line was to first unlock it using the maj key.
  • Since the introduction of Windows, it has been possible to cancel its effect by simultaneous use of the maj [caps] key, and it has been possible to unlock it by pressing it down a second time. This change (which is reversible but is the active default setting, see above) is a product of the way Caps Lock keys operated on QWERTY keyboard under earlier MS Windows systems. Nevertheless, this key still has not become a proper «Verr maj ⇪» [caps lock] key, since it continues to affect all the other keys. It is still not possible, therefore, to write a text entirely in upper case without making adjustments in the process: for example, the four characters, , ; : and !, would have to be obtained by combining them with the maj [caps] key, in order to reverse the effect of the Verr maj ⇪ [caps lock] key having been pressed down at the outset.
THE EFFECT OF THE VERR MAJ ⇪ [CAPS LOCK ⇪] BEING PRESSED DOWN
This arrangement is not as senseless as it may seem, since it means that the caps lock can be used to facilitate the keying in of numbers on keyboards without a numeric keypad. Historically too, this extension of the caps lock to all the keys on the keyboard corresponded to the way in which manual and electric typewriter keyboards were originally organized, based on the fact that keying in numbers was a much more common operation that typing texts in upper case (furthermore, it was accepted that upper case letters would not need to carry accents).
  • On QWERTY keyboards, typing an entire text in upper case is much easier, since the verr maj [caps lock] key only affects the letters of the alphabet (these keyboards have the advantage of not needing to accommodate accented letters. However, their relative ease of use was not so evident in the case of old-style manual and electric keyboards where the caps lock affected the entire keyboard. This was because the “hammers” triggered by the keys and bearing the different characters were all identical in design, so that the choice of character to be printed depended on the position of the roller carrying the printing area, or on the position of the basket containing all the keyboard characters.)
Moreover, the Macintosh and GNU/Linux AZERTY keyboards (or at least some arrangements of them) are also different in that the ⇪ key only affects alphabetical characters. There is no need to adjust what is typed in order to obtain a full stop or a comma when the verr maj [caps lock] key is depressed.
THE EFFECT OF THE VERR MAJ [CAPS LOCK] KEY ALREADY BEING DEPRESSED!!!  (UNDER MACINTOSH AND GNU/LINUX)
However, in this mode, the key does not affect the < and ² keys, and unfortunately it renders the typing of numbers more complicated on keyboards without a numeric keypad (the Maj key has to be held down).

Differences in AZERTY keyboard layouts[edit]

In France[edit]

AZERTY under Linux[edit]

In the interface with X Windows, the command

setxkbmap fr

converts the keyboard into an AZERTY keyboard.

In X, the keyboard interface is completely configurable, allowing each user to assign different functions to each key in line with their personal preferences. For example specific combinations of Alt Gr + key could be assigned to the characters, œ, Œ, æ, Æ, …, ½, etc..

Outside X, in console mode, the following command is used:

loadkeys fr

102 Key[edit]

The key to the left of the letter W on the physical AZERTY keyboard, depicting the two symbols.

<>

does not exist on old physical QWERTY keyboards. This is why the two symbols

<>

cannot be typed on a virtual AZERTY keyboard created with setxbmap fr or loadkeys fr on a physical QWERTY keyboard. The reprogramming of certain combination of keys, using xmodmap in the X Windows environment, or using loadkeys in console mode, is one way of compensating for this deficiency.

Approximate positioning of AZERTY keys[edit]

without the Maj [Caps] key[edit]
² & é " ' ( - è _ ç à ) =
a z e r t y u i o p ^ $
q s d f g h j k l m ù *
< w x c v b n , ; : !

The ^ key should be typed twice in succession, then followed by a space in order for a circumflex to appear in isolation, or followed by a vowel to obtain the â ê î ô û characters detailed earlier.

with the Maj or Shift key[edit]
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 ° +
A Z E R T Y U I O P ¨ £
Q S D F G H J K L M % µ
> W X C V B N ? .  / §

The ¨ key should be typed twice in succession (with Maj or Shift), or once only followed by a space in order for a diaeresis to appear in isolation, or followed by a vowel to obtain the ä ë ï ö ü characters detailed earlier.

with the Alt Gr key[edit]
¬ ¹ ~ # { [ | ` \ ^ @ ] }
æ « € ¶ ŧ ← ↓ → ø þ ¤
@ ß ð đ ŋ ħ j ĸ ł µ
« » ¢ “ ” n •

This is completely different from what is generated under Windows.

The following is an example of the results that could be obtained by reconfiguring (see the files in XBASE/lib/X11/xkb/symbols/pc avec XBASE = /usr/X11R6 or elsewhere):

´ ½ ~ # { [ | ` \ ^ @ ] }
æ z € ® ™ ý u i œ ρ ^ ¤
q ß þ ð g h j k l — ù *
Ω x © v b n ¸ … : !
(non-breaking space)

@

Locking of capitals under Linux[edit]

The key is often labelled “Verr. Maj.” [“Caps Lock” in English]. Otherwise it depicts a padlock symbol.

² & É " ' ( - È _ Ç À ) =
A Z E R T Y U I O P ^ $
Q S D F G H J K L M Ù *
< W X C V B N , ; : !

Notice that it is possible to generate the upper case letters, É È Ç À Ù, more easily than under Windows.

Layout of the French keyboard under Macintosh[edit]

Normal layout of the French keyboard under Macintosh (without the “majuscule” [capital letter] key)[edit]

@ & é " ' ( § è ! ç à ) - 
a z e r t y u i o p ^ $
q s d f g h j k l m ù `
< w x c v b n , ; : =

Layout of the French keyboard under Macintosh (with the “majuscule” [capital letter] key)[edit]

# 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 ° _
A Z E R T Y U I O P ¨ *
Q S D F G H J K L M % £
> W X C V B N ? .  / +

Locking of capital letters under Macintosh[edit]

This key is often labelled “Verr. Maj.” [“Caps. Lock” in English]. Otherwise it depicts a padlock symbol.

@ & É " ' ( § È ! Ç À ) - 
A Z E R T Y U I O P ^ $
Q S D F G H J K L M Ù `
< W X C V B N , ; : =

Notice that it is possible to obtain the capital letters, É È Ç À Ù, more easily than under Windows, and that the @ key can be accessed directly. The other special characters can be obtained by using the ALT key.

Layout features specific to Macintosh keyboards[edit]

Macintosh keyboards have the unique feature of being able to produce all the upper case letters directly, without resorting to programming insert functions and without requiring users to memorize codes, as is the case with Windows (which is largely responsible, incidentally, for strongly and erroneously reinforcing the typographical myth that “capital letters are not accented”.

Layout of the keyboard with the Alt key

•  ë “ ‘ { ¶ « ¡ Ç ø } —
  æ Â ê ® † Ú º î œ π ô €
   ‡ Ò ∂ ƒ fi Ì Ï È ¬ µ Ù @
  ≤ ‹ ≈ © ◊ ß ~ ∞ … ÷ ≠
  • Alt ç : Ç
  • Alt à : ø
  • Alt a : æ
  • Alt e : ê (idem ^ e)
  • Alt i : î (idem ^ i)
  • Alt o : œ
  • Alt ^ : ô (idem ^ o)
  • Alt ù : Ù

Layout of the keyboard with the Alt Verr Maj [Caps Lock] keys

•  ë “ ‘ { ¶ « ¡ Ç ø } —
   Æ Å Ê ® ™ Ÿ ª ï Œ ∏ ô €
    Ω ∑ ∆ • fl Î Í Ë | Ó Ù @
   ≤ › ⁄ ¢ √ ∫ ı ∞ … ÷ ≠
  • Alt Verr Maj ç : Ç
  • Alt Verr Maj à : ø
  • Alt Verr Maj a : Æ
  • Alt Verr Maj e : Ê (idem Maj ^ e)
  • Alt Verr Maj i : ï (idem ¨ i)
  • Alt Verr Maj o : Œ
  • Alt Verr Maj ^ : ô (idem ^ o)
  • Alt Verr Maj ù : Ù

Layout of the keyboard with the Alt Maj [Caps] keys

Ÿ ´ „ ” ’ [ å » Û Á Ø ] –
   Æ Å Ê ‚ ™ Ÿ ª ï Œ ∏ Ô ¥
    Ω ∑ ∆ • fl Î Í Ë | Ó ‰ #
   ≥ › ⁄ ¢ √ ∫ ı ¿ • \ ±
  • Alt Maj ç : Á
  • Alt Maj à : Ø
  • Alt Maj a : Æ
  • Alt Maj e : Ê (idem Maj ^ e)
  • Alt Maj i : ï (idem ¨ i)
  • Alt Maj o : Œ
  • Alt Maj ^ : Ô (idem Maj ^ o)
  • Alt Maj ù : ‰

Layout of the French keyboard under Microsoft Windows[edit]

General points[edit]

For information regarding residual and dead keys, please refer to the 2nd chapter of this article.

Missing elements[edit]

  • Whereas, ever since the AZERTY keyboard was devised, a single key has been dedicated to the letter (ù), which only occurs in one word (où [where]), the œ is completely unrepresented, despite the fact that it is an integral part of the French language and occurs in many different words. The words, nœud [knot], cœur [heart], and œil [eye] are neither written nor pronounced in the same way as coexistence [coexistence] or Noël [Christmas]!
  • æ, as in Lætitia [girl’s name] or ex æquo [dead-heat].
  • The non-breaking space, which prevents having punctuation characters in isolation at the ends or beginnings of lines.
  • French language opening and closing quotation marks, « and ».
  • The capital letters, É, Ç, Œ ... (in the words Œdipe [Oedipus] and non Oedipe [non-Oedipus], for example), are available neither on the typewriter itself, nor using the operating system mentioned earlier.

Nevertheless, it is possible to fill in these gaps by installing a keyboard driver that has been specially enriched for the French language[4].

Some word-processing software packages sometimes address some of these gaps. The non-breaking space can be obtained by pressing the Ctrl key, followed by a space, in a word-processing package such as OOo Writer, or by using Ctrl + Maj [Caps] + Espace [Spacebar] in Microsoft Word.

Apart from these gaps, the French AZERTY layout has some strange features, which are still present in the Microsoft Windows Vista operating system:

  • The combination Maj + ² does not generate any character at all.
  • The presence of two ^ (one of which is a dead key, while the other – at the bottom right of the ç9 key - is not).
  • When a ¦ is required, a | is generated

(even under Linux).

Differences between the Belgian and French layouts of the AZERTY keyboard[edit]

The Belgian AZERTY keyboard allows for the placing of accents on vowels without recourse to encoding via the Alt key + code. This is made possible by the provision of dead keys for each type of accent: ^ ¨ ´ ` (the last two being generated by a combination of Alt Gr + ù and µ respectively).

To recap the list of different keys from left to right and from top to bottom:

  • First row (symbols and numbers):
    • By combining the shift and ² keys, ³ is obtained;
    • The symbol | , is generated by a combination of Alt Gr + & same key as the 1;
    • The @ symbol is generated by a combination of Alt Gr + é same key as the 2;
    • Unlike the French layout, the ' (or 4) key does not contain a third symbol;
    • Unlike the French layout, the ( (or 5) key does not contain a third symbol;
    • The ^ symbol is generated by a combination of Alt Gr + § same key as the 6 ; but, as opposed to the ^ symbol found to the right of the p key, it is not a dead key, and therefore does not generate the placing of a circumflex accent;
    • Unlike the French layout, the è (or 7) key does not contain a third symbol;
    • Unlike the French layout, the ! (or 8) key does not contain a third symbol;
    • The { symbol is obtained by a combination of Alt Gr + ç same key as the 9;
    • The } symbol is obtained by a combination of Alt Gr + à same key as the 0;
    • Unlike the French layout, the ) (or °) key does not contain a third symbol;
    • The key to the right of the ) key contains the following symbols: - _ with shift and, unlike the French layout, does not contain a third symbol.
  • Second row (the letters AZERTYuiop):
    • the alphabetical keys do not have Alt Gr codes apart from the e, which generates the euro symbol, ;
    • The [ symbol is obtained by a combination of Alt Gr + ^ same key as the ¨ (a partially dead key located to the right of the p key);
    • the key to the right of the ^ key contains the following symbols: $ * with shift and ] with Alt Gr;
  • Third row (the letters qsdfghjklm)
    • the key to the right of m contains the following symbols: ù % with shift and the partially dead key ´ with Alt Gr , which allows acute accents to be generated on accented vowels;
    • the key to the right of ù contains the following symbols: µ £ with shift and the partially dead key ` with Alt Gr, which allows grave accents to be generated on accented vowels;
  • Third row (the letters wxcvbn and basic punctuation):
    • The \ symbol is generated by a combination of Alt Gr + <;
    • the key to the right of : contains the following symbols: = + with shift and the partially dead key ~ with Alt Gr, the latter either generating the tilde symbol when combined with the space bar, or positioning a tilde over a letter: a → ã, A → Ã, n → ñ, N → Ñ, o → õ, O → Õ.

The description ‘partially dead’ means that pressing the key in question sometimes generates the desired symbol directly, but that at least one of the symbols represented on the key will only appear after a second key has been pressed. The symbols to which this applies are ^ and ¨ located to the right of the p key, (however, this is not a dead key as in the French layout, since the [ symbol is also represented), ´ Alt Gr ù, ` Alt Gr µ, located to the right of ù, and ~ Alt Gr =, located to the right of :. In order to obtain a symbol in isolation, the space bar must be pressed, otherwise a vowel should be pressed to generate the required accented form. The ~ symbol allows the Spanish letter ñ (and Ñ) to be typewritten, as well as the Portugese letters ã and õ (and Ã, Õ).

The other keys are identical, even though traditionally the names of special keys are printed on them in English. This is because Belgium is predominantly bilingual (French-Dutch) and officially trilingual (a third language, German, is spoken in the East Cantons).

It should be noted that the key to the right of 0 on the numeric keypad corresponds either to the full stop or to the comma (which is why there are two dinstinct keyboard drivers under Windows).

µ (micro) key[edit]

Why does the French keyboard have a µ key?

Marcel Boulogne, responsible for marketing Personal Computers in France, refused to give the go-ahead for the launch of the product until the keyboards did not included, not only the silent keys (^ et ¨), but also the µ key. It was his belief that PCs would quickly take over from typewriters, and he did not want to have everyone complaining that it was impossible to symbolize certain units of measurement, such as the microsecond (µs), microfarad (µF), and micrometre (µm). The usual solution of representing them by us, uF, and u struck him as impossibly makeshift. He pushed his demands through with steely determination and in the end won his case. The µ key was included in the PC’s code page and included on its keyboard.

However, a position needed to be chosen for that particular key and a character included under one of the many inconvenient Alt-Ctrl commands (the system used prior to the addition of the Alt Gr key). The “\” symbol, never once used in DOS 1, seemed too little used to deserve such a prominent ranking. However, it was this symbol that was also chosen by Microsoft to act as a directory separator in DOS 2, which allowed directory hierarchies.

Note: in the Belgian AZERTY layout, the µ symbol is generated simply by pressing the key to the right of the ù key.

See also[edit]

  • The Attn key (meaning “Warning”) calls up the Help menu on AS/400 systems (= GO ASSIST on a command line often withheld from basic users)
  • The Syst key calls up the system menu on AS/400 (Syst Req)

Related Articles[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ Office québécois de la langue française, Le clavier de votre ordinateur est-il normalisé?.
  2. ^ Services gouvernementaux du Québec, Standard sur le clavier québécois.
  3. ^ Alain LaBonté, 2001, FAQ. La démystification du clavier québécois (norme CAN/CSA Z243.200-92)
  4. ^ a b Denis Liégeois, pilote de clavier azerty enrichi pour Windows.
  5. ^ Christophe Jacquet, pilote clavier Français International pour Windows.
  6. ^ Hadrien Nilsson, kbdfr-dk - pilote de clavier azerty français amélioré, 22 février 2007.
  7. ^ Gilbert Galéron, pilote azerty enrichi.


External Links[edit]


[[Category:Keyboard_layouts]]