US QWERTY+ International keyboard layout

User Guide

This user guide covers a keyboard layout’s fundamental design principles so that you can understand how the US QWERTY+ works

It does not offer a full list of all the characters available to be typed on the keyboard layout.

First of all, here’s an quick tip on how to familiarise yourself with the
US QWERTY+ International keyboard layout

 

Open the Touch keyboard in Windows (button on bottom right corner↘).

For the On-Screen Keyboard press ⊞ Win Start button and type “on-screen” (or press ⊞ Win + Ctrl + O).
Update: On-Screen keyboard might be a little buggy in Windows 1909 

Now to the user guide…

Modifier keys: 

AltGr, AltGr+Shift, and dead keys

As the US QWERTY+ makes extensive use of these modifier keys this page offers a detailed explanation of what they are and how to use them.

A modifier key is a key that modifies the action of another key when the two are pressed together.

The four levels of a keyboard layout

Note: the screenshots below may show an outdated version of the keyboard layout. The download folder has the updated diagrams.

1st level — direct access 

When you type abcde in lower case you are not using any modifier keys because you are typing in the 1st level of the keyboard layout. Direct access.

1st level _ US Multilingo+.PNG

This is the US QWERTY+ Type A. That’s why the grave accent (`) is a dead key on the first level. We’ll come back to dead key modifier keys later.

2nd level — Shift key

When you type capitals letters like ABCDE (upper case) you are using the Shift modifier keys.

2nd level of the keyboard layout.

2nd level_Shift _ US Multilingo+_.PNG

There are absolutely no differences between the standard US QWERTY layout and the US QWERTY+ except for an optional ISO key and Shift+decimal point on the numeric keypad. This is why the US QWERTY+ is non-intrusive.

3rd level — AltGr key

On an European keyboard like the UK keyboard, there’s an extra modifier key that allows you to type the euro sign € and other symbols that cannot fit under the 2nd level. This is the AltGr key also known as Right Alt or Alternate Grapheme key.


When you type á[NBSP]çðé on the US QWERTY+ you are typing in the 3rd level.

(Note: Some hotkeys and shortcuts in Windows programs that use Ctrl+LeftAlt key combinations might conflict with other Alt hotkeys. Try to define custom hotkeys in Ctrl and Ctrl+Shift instead.)

3rd level_AltGr (which is actually Ctrl+

On a standard US QWERTY keyboard this entire level is blank, and the RightAlt key is a duplicate of the LeftAlt key.

 

On the US Multilingo+ this is where most of the additional special characters and dead keys are cramped in.

To access the AltGr level, simply use your right thumb👍 to hold down the small AltGr key located on the bottom right↘ of your keyboard (near the M key)

To type é hold down AltGr then press e then release both keys

Press AltGr+e → then release keys = é

Remember to release the AltGr key before you type something else in order to avoid typos.

Example: AltGr+e → release keys then → t → release keys then→AltGr+e → release keys = été (“summer” in French)

Another way to access the AltGr level is to hold down both Ctrl and LeftAlt keys

Ctrl+LeftAlt+e → then release keys = é

By the way, don’t confuse these two:

Shift+AltGr+hyphen = en dash (–)

AltGr+m = the “true” minus sign (−) used in math formulas

How to remember:

EN DASH

U+2013–

The en dash (–) is sometimes used as a hyphen in words. Plus, it’s in the 4th level, on top near the number row.

MINUS SIGN

U+2212−

The minus sign (−) is under the m key, in the 3rd level. Two other mathematical operators ×÷ are also in the 3rd level.
AltGr+x ⇨ ×
AltGr+y ⇨ ÷

4th level — AltGr+Shift key

When you type Á˘Ç°É you are typing in the 4th level. On some European keyboards this level is quite blank.

4th level_Shift+AltGr (which is actually

To access the AltGr level, use right thumb👍 to hold down the AltGr key and then use your left/right little finger to hold down the Left/Right Shift keys

To type É hold down AltGr and Left/Right Shift then press e then release all three keys

AltGr+Shift+e → then release keys = É

It doesn’t matter which shift key you use.

Another way to access the AltGr+Shift level is to hold down both Ctrl and LeftAlt and Left Shift keys. It is possible to do this with only using your left hand but it’s not very comfortable.

Ctrl+LeftAlt+Shift+e = É

By the way, don’t confuse these two:

AltGr+Shift+3 = º = masculine ordinal o (Also available by typing AltGr+3→then→3)

AltGr+Shift+d = ° = degree sign (Also available by typing AltGr+d→then→SPACE)

How to remember:

º = U+00BA MASCULINE ORDINAL INDICATOR

◌º is used as a number sign in French (nº) and an ordinal indicator in Italian (1º) so I put it under the 3# key

° = U+00B0 DEGREE SIGN

This is the degree sign so I put it under the letter d which happens to be close to C and F. Plus, AltGr+Shift+F G H generate the real prime symbols ′ ″ ‴

Caps Lock

Another way to type capitals letters like ABCDE is to press the Caps Lock key. In the Caps lock level you can still hold down the AltGr and Shift modifier keys.

Caplocks _ US Multilingo+.PNG

To easily type a string of capital letter like ÉTATS-UNIS simply press Caps Lock before you type. The letter É is automatically generated when you press AltGr+e. No need to use AltGr+Shift in this case. Remember to turn off Caps Lock.

Caplocks+AltGr_ US Multilingo+.PNG
Caplocks+Shift_ US Multilingo+.PNG
Caplocks+Shift+AltGr_ US Multilingo+.PNG

Now you know how to type all four levels of the keyboard layout!

Ctrl

Ctrl+Shift

The Ctrl and Ctrl+Shift levels are left untouched in the US QWERTY+ so that you can customise your own keyboard shortcuts in third-party applications.

Ctrl _ untouched _ US Multilingo+_.PNG
Ctrl+Shift _ untouched _ US Multilingo+.

Dead Keys

A dead key is a special kind of character that acts like a modifier key. When you press a dead key character, it does not generate a (complete) version of itself — nothing appears until you press a another key. If a keyboard layout has (`) as a grave accent dead key, the French accented character à can be generated by first pressing ` and then a.

For example, to type the word “où”…

press o

press `` stays dead & invisible → press u → `appears on top of u ⇥ ù

=

In the US QWERTY+, dead keys allow you to be able to type the many characters that cannot fit into any level of the layout.

Dead keys can be found in any level.

1st level (in Type A ⌨layout) : `+a

2nd level : no dead keys

3rd level : Shift+AltGr+f

4th level : Shift+AltGr+r

After you type a dead key, you can press the Shift, AltGr, or Shift+AltGr keys to type even more characters. For example, to type Ë perform the following keystrokes:

AltGr + ;:

*Release Keys*

Shift+E

The blue boxes shown below are dead key tables. A dead key table is a list of base characters and composite characters that are tucked away, for example, under the f→ dead key used for generating flèches (arrows)

Press AltGr+f

press i 

= ⇑ symbol

Press AltGr+f

press AltGr+i (í)

= ⇈ symbol

Press AltGr+f

press AltGr+f again

= → symbol

f is the dead key

i is the base character in the f→ dead key table

í is also the base character in the f→ dead key table

⇑ is the composite character in the f→ dead key table

⇈ is the also composite character in the f→ dead key table

US QWERTY+_Show ALL (AltGr & AltGr+Shift

All 4 levels shown. Dead keys are not indicated.

US QWERTY+ Type A_Show AltGr only + DEAD

Only AltGr level shown. Dead keys indicated with green circles.

US QWERTY+ Type A_Show_ALL + DEAD KEYS.p

All 4 levels shown. Dead keys indicated with green circles.

With 4 levels, 22 dead key tables, and some combining diacritical marks the keyboard becomes like a Character Map in itself. Try and play around with keystroke combinations using the “4 Levels method” detailed above; you might discover a few things! Like how to type proper Unicode fractions… (It’s AltGr+5%). And where is the Miscellaneous Symbols table… (It’s AltGr+3#).

 

If you are unsure of what character it is you just typed on this keyboard you can search it on Google or Wiktionary to see exactly which Unicode character it is. Or use this site called BabelMap Online ↗.

There are more diagrams in the download folder.

Now ere’s something fun (or dumb): There are “Infinity Stones” hidden in the keyboard and most of them are completely different from each other with different Unicode values.

Type all types!

ẞ.̇̇̇̇̇̈̇̇Oœcɔo◌•Ο0ºοȯö.·˙°˙◦.·˙ß…

°‿<

Sly smirk

(degree symbol, undertie, less-than sign)

To type the degree sign ( ° )     : press ALTGR + SHIFT + D or press ALTGR + D → then press → SPACE
To type the undertie ( )         : press ALTGR + 3# → then press → 0)

To type the less-than sign ( < ) : press SHIFT + ,<

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