Using special characters in World Language Course activities

Activities in World Language Courses often require the use of accents and other diacritical marks such as accents, tildes, umlauts, and pinyin tones. Although some of these characters are available on the keyboard, others must be created using an alternate method such as using keyboard commands or copy and pasting from another source.

Use keyboard commands

In most cases, using keyboard commands is the most efficient way to apply special characters. Make sure your computer is set up to use keyboard commands for special characters:


If you need to input Pinyin tone special characters in Windows and Chrome, you must use the Copying and pasting from eNotes method below. There is no language keyboard for Pinyin that can be added to Windows and Chrome.

Copying and pasting from eNotes

Students must use this method to input Pinyin tone special characters. For other languages, if keyboard commands don't work on their computer, students can use this method.

Students will create a word with special characters in the eNotes section of the activity. This allows students to select the special character from a table rather than using the keyboard to type it. 

From within the activity, students can:

  1. Access the eNotes flyout.
  2. In the Add New Note section, select the Select Special Character icon.
  3. Select the applicable character. The character displays in the Add New Note section.


    Hover your mouse over a character and a tool tip describing the character displays, like this Pinyin tone:

  4. Copy and paste the word or phrase with the special character into the activity window.