Holdkey makes it easy to type characters with accents.
It runs in the background and works with almost all programs.
The accents available are all based on the Latin / Roman alphabet.
See also Wikipedia Latin Alphabet.


The Holdkey system has a learning curve of about 1 minute.

To use characters with accents in your documents or any program just type the character and hold the key for about half a second. The character will change into a ↑ Release the key and a bar appears with 10 characters and symbols. Choose the one you want by clicking or typing the corresponding number or function key. Pressing a function key will display the capital version of the character Clicking the more button will open a browser window with more characters.

Here is an overview of all Holdkey combinations: Quick reference
See also a screenshot and a Video demo

To cancel a Holdkey action while the ↑ symbol is visible, just type anything other than a number or function key, the ↑ symbol and the Holdkey info bar disappears. In order to repeat characters hold the character for a longer time, after the ↑ symbol appears keep holding the key and shortly after the character starts repeating.

In settings the behavior of the Holdkey system can be fine tuned.


In settings you can set the Holdkey response time and the info bar help settings

- Holdkey speed
The Holdkey speed setting determines how fast the Holdkey ↑ sign appears, a higher number takes longer.

- Repeat delay
The repeat delay is the time Holdkey waits before the Holdkey sign disappears and the character starts repeating.

- Holdkey active
The Holdkey active setting is the number of seconds Holdkey waits for input, after this time the ↑ sign disappears.

- Holdkey Info settings
The info bar might need some fine tuning. Depending on your windows version and graphical features the info bar appears in the title bar or direct above the cursor. In case the info bar appears in the title bar it might be a bit too high or too low. Setting the Holdkey info bar setting to a lower or higher number sets the info bar a few pixels lower/ higher.

- Show Holdkey info bar above the cursor
The best choice is to display the info bar direct above the cursor. Usually this is not a problem but with some programs this is not possible. The location of the cursor is not always detectable by Holdkey, this is a Windows issue. You can solve this by deselecting 'show Holdkey info bar above the cursor'.

- Use caps lock as shift key.
The keyboard caps lock will function as a shift key.(The first typed character only)

- Enable multiple monitor support
Enable this when working with 2 monitors, the Holdkey info bar will now be displayed in the correct location on the second monitor too. Do not enable this when working on one monitor.

- Disable Holdkey keyboard shortcuts
Since Holdkey runs in the background it can happen that another program uses the same shortcuts as Holdkey. Selecting this will disable all Holdkey shortcuts, the interface can now only be opened by clicking the Holdkey icon in the Task bar.

Installation info

After downloading Holdkey the installer will guide you through the installation process. If you are using IE choose 'run' after clicking the download button. With Firefox you need to download the file first and then double click it in the download window. It is preferable to run Holdkey at start up (the default setting during installation). Holdkey takes almost no resources and therefore is always available when needed.


There are 3 ways to uninstall Holdkey:
- Windows control panel, Add/ Remove programs.
- Start -> All programs -> Holdkey folder -> Uninstall.
- Holdkey installer, click the installer and follow the instructions.

Known bugs

- Installation on XP machines not as administrator gives problems.
- Please report problems or suggestions Here.


If you like Holdkey Freeware you can consider to make a donation Here.

Version info

Version 3.1 : Oct 21, 2020.

Issue with minimize button fixed.

Version 3.0 : May 5, 2015.

Bitcoin and other crypto currency symbols added.
Better support for greek symbols (Holdkey +9).
Multi user support
Bug fixes.

Version 2.1 : Sep 1, 2013, Bug fixes and minor changes.

Version 2.0 : Feb 28, 2012, Introduction of a free version

HoldKey Interface

About | Privacy | License info | Links | © Holdkey 2024