Peter T. Daniels wrote:
>> Virtual keyboards that have to be clicked are used for entry
>> in textboxes in many webpages.

> Word for Windows all but forces you to do it for any accented
> letters -- that, or memorize a bunch of arbitrary 3-digit
> codes.

You can (and not just for "accented letters", but for any Unicode character whatsoever) type the 4-digit Unicode codepoint and press ALT+X. E.g., "05d0", followed by ALT+X, inserts an Aleph. (A quick way from within Word to determine the Unicode codepoint is via the "Insert Symbol" dialog.) For those characters you use more frequently, you can assign your own shortcut key to insert them directly.

As to common accented (French, German, ...) letters, there's a less "arbitrary" method. From Word's Help:

CTRL+` (ACCENT GRAVE), the letter
à, è, ì, ò, ù,
À, È, Ì, Ò, Ù

CTRL+' (APOSTROPHE), the letter
á, é, í, ó, ú, ý
Á, É, Í, Ó, Ú, Ý

CTRL+SHIFT+^ (CARET), the letter
â, ê, î, ô, û
Â, Ê, Î, Ô, Û

CTRL+SHIFT+~ (TILDE), the letter
ã, ñ, õ
Ã, Ñ, Õ

CTRL+SHIFT+: (COLON), the letter
ä, ë, ï, ö, ü, ÿ,
Ä, Ë, Ï, Ö, Ü, Ÿ

CTRL+SHIFT+@, a or A
å, Å

CTRL+SHIFT+&, a or A
æ, Æ

CTRL+SHIFT+&, o or O
œ, Œ

CTRL+, (COMMA), c or C
ç, Ç

ð, Ð

CTRL+/, o or O
ø, Ø