One of the most suitable methods for most Esperantists is by Markus Sunela from his Bitabismo website. You can download and install his program Klavaro por Vindozo (Keyboard for Windows). Under the heading ‘Dosieroj’ there is a list of versions for various languages. Choose the one you want and download that package. Extract it from the .zip file and then run the setup.exe to install.
Unfortunately the zip files in the Bitabismo website are corrupted (2013). (You could repair the one you want with a suitable program. Search for information about that in the Internet.) However, here is the file KeyboardForWindows-us-eo.zip supplied by Marcus Sunela in 2012. It is for use with the USA keyboard layout which almost everyone in New Zealand and Australia (as well as USA) uses. Download it. Extract it. In it there is a file called setup.exe. Run that program. It will install the extra keys into your keyboard layout.
To type ĉ hold down the righthand Alt key and type c. Similarly for ĉ, ĝ, ĥ, ĵ, ŝ or ŭ. For the upper case letters hold the right Alt and Shift keys while typing c etc. This system does not interfere with the other languages – it simply adds extra key combinations. You don’t get the Ĉristĉurĉ problem that you get with Ek (below) and some other methods. The big advantage of this setup is that once it is installed it is always available. You can type both your languages all the time in all programs.
Ek is used by many Esperantists. Ek is by Juri Finkel. Instructions on how to downloaded it can be found on the Ek download page. It is described as suitable for Windows up to and including Vista. Please let us know whether it works on more modern versions.
Once it is downloaded, run the install program. Just use the default settings to start with. A grey button labelled Ek will appear in the toolbar. Hover the mouse cursor over this button and left click it when you want to type some text with Esperanto characters. It will make a sound and the button will appear depressed. To type letters such as ĉ, type c followed by h or x. For aŭ and eŭ, the breve (hoketo) will appear automatically when au and eu are entered.
The only small difficulty is when typing words in English or another language within Esperanto text with the Ek button depressed. For example, Christchurch will appear as Ĉristĉurĉ because the Ek programme will automatically convert ch to ĉ. To avoid this, turn off the Ek button when typing words like Christchurch. Also when using Ek with Google Apps such as gmail or Google Documents hitting the enter key does not give a newline. You have to switch Ek off again for the enter key to work as normal again.
This program adds the accented Esperanto letters to your current keyboard layout, so to type ĉ you press Alt + C, etc.The program is proprietary software, so there is a small cost for using it. For further information please go to: TypeIt.
Another QWERTY keyboard for Windows
Another QWERTY keyboard for Windows can be found here: https://skotlando.org/index.php/links/14-about-esperanto. Once installed, you should be able to select it using the normal Windows method for choosing layouts for different languages (you might possibly have to reboot your computer to complete installation). Then a language icon will appear in your toolbar and you can then switch between it and English (or whatever other language(s) you normally use).
The Canadian Multilingual Standard layout is preinstalled in Windows. To find out how to select an alternative keyboard layout go to:
Use the menu steps given to change to the Canadian Multilingual Standard layout.
Once the above layout has been activated you can press the first key to the right of P and then c/g/h/j/s for ĉ/ĝ/ĥ/ĵ/ŝ, and press (at the same time as the right Ctrl key and right Alt key) the third key to the right of L and then press u for ŭ. Note that keyboards vary. On a US keyboard that key is the 3rd to the right of P.
Tajpi is a versatile program by which one can type by various methods. It is described and available from: www.zz9pza.net/tajpi/en/ It says:
“With Tajpi running you can enter combinations like like sx, gh, ^u and others, and they will be automatically replaced by the appropriate Esperanto letter. You can also configure your keyboard so that an Esperanto letter appears immediately when pressing a certain key, simulating a keyboard remap. It’s also possible to use Alt Gr or simulate the “dead keys” which exist in many standard keyboard layouts. Tajpi also has a basic scripting language providing more advanced configuration, as well as utilities to convert to and from the so-called X-system or input any Unicode character upon pressing a configured keystroke.”
Some users find that their anti-virus program prevents them from installing Tajpi, so it may be necessary to disable the antivirus program for Tajpi or create an exception for it..
The default way to (de)activate Tajpi is to press Ctrl + spacebar. This can easily be reconfigured. See www.zz9pza.net/tajpi/en/configuration
Microsoft has a Keyboard Layout toolkit which users may find useful.
MS Office, various email programs, and many others, have menus which allow the user to insert special characters. In MS Office go to menu item Insert and select Symbol and you will be able to choose the Esperanto characters there and assign a key combination if required.
Various open source programs are available for setting up a compose key. Refer to Wikipedia for details.