Accented Characters Short-cuts?
I'm wondering if there is a way to use any hot key short cuts for the timed quizzes. I'm finding I'm spending a bit of my time clicking on the on-screen characters!
Try US (International) keyboard layout. It adds special symbols while keeping the entire US keyboard layout. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_and_American_keyboards (scroll to the third picture) or http://support.microsoft.com/kb/306560.
you could either copy them from somewher else or use these codes (type the number with alt on) 128 Ç 129 ü 130 é 131 â 132 ä 133 à 134 å 135 ç 136 ê 137 ë 138 è 139 ï 140 î 141 ì 142 Ä 143 Å 144 É 145 æ 146 Æ 147 ô 148 ö
Change your keyboard to the appropriate language (French, German...). It takes some getting used to (I mess up my "y" and "z" with the German keyboard a lot), but still faster than using the mouse or typing in Alt+ codes. Once set up, you can change back and forth (say from English to German and back again) either with one mouse click, or with Alt+shift.
I can't test, but I'm pretty sure also windows and macos support character compositing. So instead of needing to click or use alt and a number, you can use the right alt key (alt gr on some layouts; generally known as the compose key) as a shortcut. Eg. for me to write "niño", I write "ni", then hold right-alt, press 1 (where my ~ mark is), release both and press "no". The same for é (9) and others, you just have to find which key has which accent.
pressing at the same time Alt with <some> key and then the letter it produces the modified version (at least for mac os x, and for the US standard keymap).
produces accent grave ( Alt+ e = è, Alt+
a = à , Alt+ A= À etc) Alt+e produce accent eggu (Alt+e e=é, Alt+e a=á ...) Alt+i produces the accent circumflex (Alt+i i=î Alt+i o =ô Alt+i e =ê etc) Alt + u produces ¨ (Alt+u u=ü Alt+u i=ï Alt+u a=ä etc ). There are some letters that are single combinations like Alt+c = ç , Alt+q=œ, Alt+'=æ, Alt+s=ß , Alt+a=å etc). I am almost sure that these are international ISO combinations and should work with windows as well but I cannot try. Also on mac os x you can open the keyboard viewer, and you can see all the possible combinations and the modifiers of the keyboard map.