Many years ago I came across, by accident, a way of entering foreign accented characters into Microsoft Office applications by way of a standard non-accented UK/US keyboard.
Whilst this technique is documented in a few places very few people seem to have come across it.
Press Ctrl and a symbol followed by a letter and it will apply this symbol to the letter if it forms a valid accented character. Some symbols require you press Shift at the same time as Ctrl if you normally need to press Shift to get the symbol (e.g. ^ on via Shift6)
|“||Double quote||Double acute||????|
For example to get Â you would type CtrlShift6 (where ^ lives) then let go of the keyboard and press ShiftA (for A). Voilà!
It sure beats trying to remember Alt-01nn numeric keypad codes or delving into the depths of Start > Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Character Map.