Typing in English with the typical English keyboard is easy. However, it becomes more complex when you want to type in other languages, such as French or Spanish. Even though they use English alphabets, many letters are pronounced differently. To denote the differences in pronunciations, we use accents. Accents are not typically present on English keyboards. However, there are other ways to denote accents.
Using the Windows Character Map
The Windows character map has several special characters you can use, including letters with accent marks.
- Press the Win + R key. This will open the Run command.
- Type “charmap” and click OK.
- This will open the Character Map dialog box. You will see numerous special characters listed. Click on the symbol you want and click on the Select button. You can then click on Copy to copy the character.
- You can now paste the character by right-clicking and selecting the Paste option or pressing Ctrl + V on your keyboard.
Using Alt Key Codes
ASCII (American Standard Code for Information Interchange) key codes are assigned to many special characters. You can use them to type an accented alphabet. For this, you can only use the number pad on your right and not the one on top of the keyboard. Please note that Numlock should be turned on for this to work.
For the Alt codes, you can go to this website. It has all the ASCII codes for accented letters. Here’s how you can use Alt codes to type accented letters.
- Press and hold the Alt key.
- While holding the Alt key, type in the required number for the accented letter you want. In this instance, we can use 0193 for A acute.
- After typing the number, release the Alt key. The accented letter will be inputted.
Using the Touch Keyboard
Once you’ve enabled the touch keyboard, right-click and hold any letter on the touch keyboard to see the accented form of that letter. Follow these steps:
- Right-click on the taskbar and select Taskbar settings.
- The Settings dialog box will open up. Under the Taskbar corner icons, you can see a Touch keyboard option. Turn the toggle next to it On.
- You will see a new keyboard icon in the taskbar. Click on it.
- The touch keyboard will launch. Press any alphabet and hold to see the accented options for the particular letter. For example, we are using the letter U.
- Hover over the accented letter you want and release your click. It will now appear in your document.
Using Keyboard Shortcuts in Microsoft Word
These shortcuts work only in Microsoft Word. So feel free to skip this method if you’re using another application.
Note: Visit this link to find all the keyboard shortcuts used to add accent marks in Microsoft Word.
- Press and hold the Ctrl key. While holding the Ctrl key, click on the accent you want on your keyboard. It could be an ‘ (apostrophe), ” (quotation), ` (accented grave), ~ (tilde), or a ^ (caret). Please note that if you’re using tilde or caret, you must also use the Shift key.
- After which, press the letter you want on your keyboard. Note that you have to hold the Ctrl key throughout. For instance, for the letter á, hold the Ctrl key, press the ‘ key, and then the letter a key on your keyboard.
Using Keyboard Sequencing in the United States-International Keyboard
In this method, you switch the keyboard to the United States-International keyboard and use shortcuts specific to that keyboard for typing accented characters. Here’s how you switch to the United States-International keyboard.
- Press the Windows key and search for language settings. Click on Open to open Language settings.
- Check if you can add English (United States). If you can, go to step 6.
- If you don’t see that option, click on Add a language.
- Choose English (United States) and click on Next.
- Now, click on Install.
- After installation, you can see the English (United States) option. Click on the three dots next to it—select Language options.
- Under the Keyboards section, click on Add a keyboard.
- From the options given, select United States-International.
- Now, close the Settings dialog box and click ENG IN in the taskbar.
- Choose the second option, United States – International. You can now see ENG INTL instead of ENG IN.
Now, follow these steps to type accented letters with the international keyboard.
- Press the accent needed on your keyboard, followed by the letter. For example, If you need an a with the accented grave, press ` on your keyboard followed by the letter a. This will give you à.