Yes. AX Character Cycling is a free program that helps you create foreign-language characters in any program on your computer without having to enable a foreign keyboard layout. To install:

1. Visit

2. Click on the Download Now button.

3. Follow your Internet browser’s instructions to save the file. Once it has finished downloading, double click on the AX icon and follow the instructions to install the program.

4. Once AX Character Cycling is installed, click on its icon on the desktop or Start Menu to run it. A screen will appear listing the default settings. Click OK to proceed to the main menu. To enable foreign language characters, click the dropdown menu under Main Cycle and select German or Spanish. If you frequently use characters from multiple European languages and don’t want to have to switch every time you type in a different language, choose EuropeanCombo.

The Function Key dropdown menu lets you choose which key you must press to cycle through characters. The default is F8, but you can choose any F# character. The Automatic Start dropdown menu lets you choose whether the program starts whenever you turn your computer on or if you must manually click on the icon to turn it on.

5. To type a non-English character, simply type the “base” character and then hit F8. For example, to make an ä, type a plain a and then press F8. If you selected German as your Main Cycle, this should immediately become an ä. If you selected EuropeanCombo you will have to press F8 multiple times to cycle through the other “a symbols” in between: a > à > á > â > ä. If you pass up the character you want, you can just keep pressing F8. You will eventually return to the base character and then start over.

Once AX is running, it can be used in any program including Microsoft Word, Internet browsers, and chat applications. If the response seems choppy or the screen flashes but characters do not change after hitting F8, try hitting F8 twice in quick succession to cycle through characters.

See this article for other methods of creating foreign language characters.