In a recent article I mentioned how you could get alternative characters by using the "Alt" key and then typing the numbers on the Numeric Keypad. Adriaan asked in the comments section, how he could use the "Quick Key" he used previously, for example "Alt" + "R" for the "ë" character or the "deelteken" as referred to in Afrikaans.
Adriaan, I searched high and low and found a setup in your regional settings where you selected "English" as the language and "US International Keyboard" as the keyboard - you would get the á, é, í, ó and ú but not the "deelteken" characters.
The only solution I can find, which you will have to set this up once and then it will work from there on forwards - is to open the "Normal.Dot" template for Word and Outlook and then save them back once you have set the assigned keys in the "Insert" "Symbols" menu option. Then save the "Normal.Dot" file back.
The "Normal.Dot" file is found in:
Word 2010 - C:\users \"user name"\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Templates\
Word 2007 - C:\Documents and Settings\"user name"\Application Data\Microsoft\Templates\
To get to the Symbols, go to the "Insert" menu and select "Symbol" - then choose "More Symbols" and find the character you need, assign a shortcut key, click "Assign".
Once the "Normal.Dot" file is saved the assigned keys will be there forever or until you reload MS Word.
Work very carefully with the "Normal.Dot" file any changes there will be the backbone of all of your workings in MS Word - open it blank, do the symbol setup and assign the keys and save it back as a blank file - Make sure you do nothing else.
I hope this is a solution to the "Alt" + "character". If anybody has any quicker solutions we would be very happy to hear from you in the comments section.