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You know I like to think that I know a lot about InDesign. There are actually quite a bunch of things that I don't know, and one of those things is how to add all the different kinds of diacritics. If I'm typing my last name, which has a diacritic, I know how to do that one. Concepcion has an accent over the O. I already know that I can select that O and press Option+E on my Mac keyboard and then an O, and it goes and does that. But what about a word like this down here? It's some kind of French word.
I know there is a bunch accents on it, but I don't know where they go. I could go to the Glyphs panel. The Glyphs panel has every single glyph, or character along with every diacritic possible in this panel, and you can scroll through here and you could find the diacritic. So if I'm looking for an E with an accent that goes the wrong way, and then I could go ahead and enter it from here. But what if I'm doing 20 different French words with all sorts of different diacritics, and what if I don't know the glyph that I'm looking for? What if I don't know what is the proper diacritic? Let me show you this cool trick that InDesign will add the proper diacritics to words for you.
The first step is to turn on dynamic spell check. It won't work unless you do that. So go to the Edit menu, go down to Spelling > Dynamic Spelling. Dynamic Spelling flags any words in the text that it doesn't recognize in its dictionary, without you having to run a spell check. So you can see that here, this word is not recognized. Now if I right-click it, it suggests a bunch of words but they're all in English. This is a French word, and that's because we are using the English dictionary.
We're using the English dictionary because that's the default when I installed InDesign on this machine. I need to switch to French. So I'm going to select this word and I'm going to switch the dictionary to French. You can see we have lots of different languages to choose from, and if it works right, then you'll see that it's still not recognized in that target dictionary, and now I can right-click and a-ha! Now it's suggesting all of the correct spellings in French with the proper diacritics, and I happen to know that it's this one that I want.
So it went ahead and entered the right-facing accent and the wrong-facing accent for me. Here is another example. Here's a web site from Norway with a lot of interesting little diacritics on the letters. Like look at this little ad for Facebook. I'm guessing it says, like us on Facebook, but we don't really have to worry about translating it. Say that the client says we want you to add this language to our brochure. I took a screenshot and I pasted it into this document.
So let's say that we want to write this with the correct diacritics. Here's what you do. If you're working from a sample, just write it in English, with just the letters. Don't worry about the diacritics, Besok oss pa, and I'm not going to worry about Facebook but I'll write it out any way. These three words should be in Norwegian. So I'm going to select all three and change the language to Norwegian. There's a couple here. I'll try the first one, and it's saying that the first word is misspelled.
Let's zoom in a bit here. What we want it to do is to give us the O with that slash through it. I'm going to right-click and there it is. So we got that entered. Now there supposed to be something over the A here, but it's saying that it's correctly spelled, and this might happen to you that there is a version of the word without the diacritic that is correctly spelled. So you can sometimes force InDesign to flag it as incorrect, like if I add an E, and now if I right-click on here, a-ha! It's saying did you mean to write this word? There we go, you see both PA without the diacritic and with the diacritics are correct, and I want the one with the diacritic.
So there's my little trick of letting InDesign add the diacritics for you by simply changing the language of the word that needs a diacritics to the correct language and then right-clicking and getting the correct spelling with the diacritics, courtesy of InDesign and its wonderful dictionaries.
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