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Enabling the Romanian keyboard!

In Romanian, we have a few special characters [Ă,ă/Ââ/Îî/Șș/Țț]. Below, I have listed two YouTube videos to help you learn how to enable Romanian keyboard on your computer!

Windows users: click here

Apple Users: click here

November 16, 2016




For those of you who want to automatically switch between your regular keyboard and a Romanian one. Here is a browser extension that I created to do so. It also provides an optional small visual keyboard to aid in learning the location of the special characters. Note that the Romanian special characters are accessible by pressing the Alt Gr (right alt) button when the extension is active.

Chrome: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/duokeyboard/dekooljcgfaiokofbciaflklkfniimfa

Firefox: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/duokeyboard/

Opera: https://addons.opera.com/en/extensions/details/duokeyboard/


Yay this is super-helpful! Thanks :)


For anyone who uses the compose key I have discovered that ComposeKey – b – a is the sequence to get ă.

(Not terribly intuitive).


It is intuitive if you know that that diacritic is called a breve.


I didn't understand. How can i use the shortcut?


You guys are planning to add the accented letters directly to the screen at some point though, right?

Until that happens, if you don't want to have to enable a keyboard, you can always use http://romanian.typeit.org/.


Yes, we're planning that


With such few extra characters why do you not have them as special buttoms like the courses for hungarian, french, turkish, et al, it seems a lot easier and efficient. Why should we all need to change keyboards layout all the time when there really is no need for it (as it is for the langauges with different scripts).


We're working on getting one! :-)
Hopefully we'll have it soon.


Thanks, great news!


How soon is soon? 3 years? lol


Do you have a way for Linux users?


The easiest way on Linux is the "setxkbmap ro" command in a Terminal. This will enable the Romanian Programmers keyboard.

Then you use:

  • AltGr + S = Ș
  • AltGr + T = Ț
  • AltGr + A = Ă
  • AltGr + Q = Â
  • AltGr + I = Î

If you want a permanent solution then you need to configure your Desktop Environment (Gnome, KDE, XFCE and so on).


I can confirm that 3 years later, @CristianAdam solution is still the way to go. But if someone is looking for a GUI, you can also open Region&Language from Super search, and then look for and add the Romanian keyboard. Then you just toggle between your installed languages from the top bar.


Or, if you do not want to switch between keyboards layout, you can use the compose key.

For instance, I use a French keyboard and the following combinations:

  • compose+a+( = ă
  • compose+s+; = ș
  • compose + t = ; = ț

For â and î, I do not need to use the compose key since I'm a on French keyboard, but if needed you can use compose+^+a.

Note that other combinations are possible to get these letters. For instance oskalingo mentioned above that compose+b+a = ă -- so use whatever is easier for you, I just happen to prefer compose+a+(.


On my phone, I use a keyboard app called SwiftKey. It allows you to download language packs which can be enabled on your keyboard.

One limitation is that only five languages can be enabled at a time. Naturally, Romanian is one of the five I have enabled, and it works brilliantly for using the special characters. Long-pressing the normal letter (for example: a, s, t, i) will bring up the list of special characters (ă, â, ș, ț, î) for the languages you have enabled.


It gives me warm and fuzzy feeling to be amongst people who'd consider 'only' five languages a limitation. Sadly in the US too many people would be all 'who'd need five'.


So true! In previous iterations of the iPhone platform at one point only four keyboards were possible. I have eight now and it makes it easy to switch between languages on duo. Another nice feature is that if you are using the keyboard of a certain language you can dictate in that language. For example if I speak Hebrew clearly enough The program will write what I have said in the Hebrew alphabet. Another example: I just dictated: El Mănâncă while on the Romanian keyboard and it figured out what I was saying and put in the correct accents.… A good way to practice pronunciation. Of course the drawback is to complete the rest of this comment I had to switch back to English or it would have tried to find Romanian words that sounded like what I was saying,still It’s pretty amazing!


Since Windows Vista, there is a Romanian layout for programmers available. Go to keyboard settings and enable that layout. It is practically the same as the US keyboard layout, but the following hotkeys become available:






AltGr is simply the Alt button on the right side of your keyboard. The same layout is available on Linux.

On Android, you can probably rely on GBoard, but I set up extra shortcuts in Thumb Keyboard for Romanian and Ukranian letters.

P.S. If you're just starting to learn Romanian, you should probably morally prepare yourself for the fact that Romanians tend to not use accented letters on the internet. In fact, I've even seen a paper manual for an electronic appliance that had Romanian translation, but not a single accented letter was used in it. I can't really blame Romanians for this, available keyboards do kind of suck.


Is there any chance that the Romanian special characters can be added as buttons, similar to what has been done for all (or at least most) other languages with special characters?


that is exactly what I wanted to ask


I'm using a Linux Mint thumb drive.


The easiest way on Linux is the "setxkbmap ro" command in a Terminal. This will enable the Romanian Programmers keyboard.

Then you use:

  • AltGr + S = Ș
  • AltGr + T = Ț
  • AltGr + A = Ă
  • AltGr + Q = Â
  • AltGr + I = Î

If you want a permanent solution then you need to configure your Desktop Environment (Gnome, KDE, XFCE and so on).


You can also create text replacements in the Mac OS. Enable the Romanian keyboard, create the Text replacements for the Romanian letters using whatever combination of symbol/letter/whatever you want in System Preferences>Text then remove the Romanian keyboard once you're done.

If you're pretty tech-y you can modify the English language keyboard's Press and Hold settings to include Romanian (or any) characters when you press and hold a key. Link: http://apple.stackexchange.com/questions/20505/how-to-add-characters-to-the-press-and-hold-character-picker-in-os-x-lion/44928#44928


usually in duo you don't need special characters. It is very difficul to change the conformation of you keyboard.


When using my standard Android keyboard, I have noticed that the Romanian characters are there... but the character which should be ș is really ş. Using predictive typing I can get a ș (by deleting the rest of the word around it), but is there a way to report that to someone who can change it?

In the meantime, does anyone have suggestions on third-party keyboards? I have looked up Gboard (by Google) and @KurtisDB mentioned SwiftKey in this thread, but have not found enough information to make a decision.


You can help create the first standardized Romanian keyboard. See my Kickstarter: Romanian Cherry Keyboard campaign!


I'm having the same problem with Roumanian, Turkish, Portugyese6 and with Swedish. A couple of times these extra letters with special markings appeared6 in the scree,. I used them once and they dissappeared. I don't know where they came from or how to get them back to stay. josbern68@gmail.com. P.S. I'm using a Verizon wireless phone.


Video unavailable. Any updates?


Just install Ro keyboard


I already did. It wasn't difficult to find it, but the hardest thing was to find the keys for those special characters. But it's really nice of you to help other people as well.


Hi friends, I started creating fun videos that teach you different aspects of the Romanian language. If you want to check them out, take a look at my channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfcRlfC0WqF01XW1b9taVkw Good luck!


The video is unavailable 4/1/21 for Windows users


I would but I use a school laptop and cannot download anything >.<\


I use the English International Keyboard on Windows 10 (PC). Is there a way to access the characters using this setup?


right-alt + s, t, i, a, q will yield ș ț î ă â. Add shift to this combination and you get Ș, Ț, Î, Ă, Â. I use this way of typing for quite a number of years and it gets easy to get used to with the added benefit that the keyboard layout is unchanged.


I will try this. Thanks.


I have discovered the Romanian (Programmers) input method to be working perfectly with alt right + s, t...., just like Memleak described earlier.


Yes--the Romanian (Programmers) layout method is far more efficient than the default Romanian layout for Windows. The latter forces your right hand to travel too much, and blocks common symbols...


This is helpful! I think this information should be included as part of the first lesson.


I use a lot of languages with diacritics: Spanish, French, Portuguese, Polish, Romanian and i have only English keyboard. To type ă I press alt+a, to type â I press alt+aa, alt+t for ț , alt+t tt for alternative ţ , alt+shift+s for Ș and so on.

I use an autohotkey script. I can share it with you http://pastebin.com/3ebSVxsT

If you also want to use it, you have to install autohotkey verstion L (1.1) and replace your autohotkey.ahk file with the text of the pastebin. The file should be in UTF BOM (at least mine is in this encoding)

If you have any questions, ask.

Learn Romanian in just 5 minutes a day. For free.