Judy Redman posted this comment, but since it is buried in one of the sub-pages, and you may not have noticed it, I am re-posting it here:
When I am typing in German, I always use the German keyboard layout, which means that the letters with umlauts are there without having to remember complicated keyboard shortcuts. You can access this on a PC by going from Start into the Control Panel, then Regional and Language Options, then clicking on the languages tab, then details. In the Installed services box, click add and add German (Germany) as an installed language. This will offer you the option of a German keyboard. Click OK all the way out. You will then find a new icon in the bar on the bottom RHS which says EN. Click on this to change to DE whenever you want to type German and again and select EN when you want to go back to English.
The only problem is that there are a few keys that have different characters mapped to them in the German keyboard, so you have to watch this. For example the ‘z’ and the ‘y’ are swapped and if you press the apostrophe key, you will get an ‘a’ with an umlaut on it.
You can display a keyboard on your screen to help you learn where the keys are. Hold down the Windows key and press U. Select the line that says the onscreen keyboard is off, then click Start. A keyboard will open up on the screen. Click on it and then change your language to DE. You will see where all the keys you want are. You can click on them with the mouse if you like (slow and tedious) or just move it out of the way and use it to find any the location of the keys you want on your normal keyboard.