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I have a 17" Gateway laptop with Vista, and cannot get the alt codes to work. I've been told to turn on the Num Lock, but this computer doesn't seem to have one. Also, none of the letter keys appear to have a secondary number pad function. I was also told to push [Fn] + Alt + the code, but that doesn't work either. There has to be a way to insert alt characters without copying and pasting them from somewhere else, right? Anyone know how to activate this?
 

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Numlock and keypad keys are normally indicated in a dark colour that is easy to miss unless you have a good light source. On laptops Numlock is usually toggled by holding the Fn key down and pressing F11. On my keyboard the keypad keys are: 7,8,9 U,I,O J,K,L M. They are likely to be similar on yours.

N.B. not all applications will allow you to type alt-key-codes for special characters since the key combinations are used for other things e.g. in Firefox with tabs Alt-3 takes you to the third tab etc.
 
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