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Although the English language doesn’t use letters with accents (also called diacritics) often, many other languages like Spanish and Vietnamese do. If you are writing words in Roman characters that require accents, it can be hard to know the exact keystrokes.

Don’t be caught by surprise again. This guide will show you how to type letters with accents on Windows, Mac, and Linux.

Table of Contents

    How to Type Letters With Accents on Windows 10

    These instructions refer specifically to Microsoft Word and Outlook, but also other native Windows 10 applications. With the right combination of keystrokes, you can type letters with a wide range of accents. 

    How to Type Grave Accents (à è ì ò ù)

    These letters are common in a lot of different languages. The good news is they are easy to type. In order to place an accent mark above a vowel, type CTRL + Accent Grave + Letter. For reference, the accent grave key is also the tilde (~) key. 

    How To Type Acute Accents (á é í ó ú)

    Acute accent marks are commonly used in the French language. To type these letters, type CTRL + Apostrophe (‘) + Letter. Do not press and hold — strike the keys in quick succession or you will inadvertently type an apostrophe. 

    How to Type Circumflex Accents (Â Ê Î Ô Û)

    The accent that looks like a carat is called a circumflex mark. It appears commonly in both French and Italian. Type CTRL + SHIFT + Carat (^) + Letter. Note that these keys must be hit in quick succession, and it can take a little bit of practice.

    Entering the keystrokes like this results in uppercase letters. To type lowercase letters, enter CTRL + SHIFT + Carat, release those keys, and then enter the letter. 

    How to Type Tilde Accents (Ã Ñ Õ)

    Diacritics with a tilde above the letter are commonly used in Spanish. In order to type one of these, enter CTRL + SHIFT + Tilde (~) + Letter. This works only with the letters A, N, and O.

    Like with Circumflex diacritics, you must type CTRL + SHIFT + Tilde and release them before typing the letter in order to get lowercase letters. 

    How to Type Umlaut Accents (Ä Ë Ï Ö Ü Ÿ)

    Umlauts appear commonly in both German and Hungarian. To type an umlaut, enter CTRL + SHIFT + Colon (:) + Letter. This method works with all standard vowels, as well as Y.

    The letters are all capital unless you type CTRL + SHIFT + Colon and release the keys before entering the letter.

    How to Type Dot Accents (Å å)

    The single dot that appears over the letter A in Danish and Norweigian is sometimes called a ring. To type this, enter CTRL + SHIFT + @ + A or a

    How to Type Letters With Accents on Mac

    There are two ways to add diacritic marks on Mac: through a series of keystrokes, or through the press-and-hold method. We will cover how to use both methods.

    A note about typing accent marks on Mac: the press-and-hold method offers more options for letters than for others. For example, the letter A includes the option for a dot over it, while the letter E does not. 

    How to Type Grave Accents on Mac

    Grave accents can be added by pressing and holding down the relevant key. For example, press and hold the A key and a series of options will appear above it. Select the grave accent and it will take the place of the single character you typed. 

    While pressing and holding is an easy method, it isn’t the fastest. There’s another option that is faster than the press-and-hold method.

    1. Press Option.
    2. Press Grave Accent/Tilde.
    3. Release the keys.
    4. Type the letter (a, e, i, o, u) you want to add the accent to. 

    If you want to make the letter uppercase, press Shift before you type the letter.

    How to Type Acute Accents on Mac

    Acute accents can be typed through the press-and-hold method, or by entering the following.

    1. Press Option.
    2. Press e.
    3. Release the keys.
    4. Type the letter you want to add an acute accent mark to. 

    If you want to capitalize the letter, press Shift at the same time you type the letter. 

    How to Type Circumflex Accents on Mac

    Circumflex accents can be typed through the press-and-hold method or through the following key combination.

    1. Press Option.
    2. Press i.
    3. Release the keys.
    4. Type the letter you want to add a circumflex accent to. 

    As before, simply press Shift before you type the letter to capitalize it. 

    How to Type Tilde Accents on Mac

    Tildes can be added to letters through the press-and-hold method. You can also add a tilde to a letter with the following key combination. 

    1. Press Option.
    2. Press n.
    3. Release the keys.
    4. Type the letter you want to add a tilde to. 

    The tilde diacritic can be added to the letters a, n, and o. To capitalize the letter, press Shift before pressing the letter key. 

    How to Type Umlaut Accents on Mac

    You can type an umlaut through the press-and-hold method. You can also type an umlaut with the following series of commands.

    1. Press Option.
    2. Press u.
    3. Release the keys.
    4. Type the letter you want to add an umlaut to.

    Again, to capitalize the letter, press Shift before typing the letter key. 

    How to Type Dot Accents on Mac

    You can add a dot above certain letters like A through the press-and-hold method, or with the following keystrokes.

    1. Press Option.
    2. Press A

    You can capitalize it by pressing Shift before you release the keys. You can also type an umlaut with the following series of keystrokes.

    1. Press Option.
    2. Press u.
    3. Release the keys.
    4. Type the letter you wish to add an umlaut to. 

    You can capitalize the letter by pressing Shift before pressing the letter key. 

    How to Type Letters With Accents on Linux

    Linux provides users with multiple options for entering special characters. 

    How to Type Letters With Accents Using Characters Application

    Linux has a built-in application called Characters that provides users with several pieces of important information. First, you can search for specific diacritics and copy those characters for easy pasting. Second of all, the Characters application provides the Unicode code point for each of these characters.

    To enter this code point, you must hit the following keys in order.

    1. Press CTRL.
    2. Press Shift.
    3. Press U.
    4. Release the keys.
    5. Enter the Unicode code point. For example, the code for  is 00C2.
    6. Press Space or Enter.

    While this is a complicated process, it’s the easiest method if you need to use uncommon diacritic accents on a regular basis. 

    How to Type Accents on Linux Through the Compose Key

    Similar to typing accents with a series of keystrokes, the Compose key allows you to quickly enter accent marks with just a few keystrokes. The catch is that you need Ubuntu along with the Gnome desktop in order to take advantage of the Compose feature.

    After you have set a compose key, entering specific diacritics becomes as easy as entering the right series of keystrokes. 

    • Grave: Type Compose + Grave (`) + Letter.
    • Acute: Type Compose + Apostrophe (‘) + Letter.
    • Circumflex: Type Compose + Carat (^) + Letter.
    • Tilde: Type Compose + Tilde (~) + Letter.
    • Umlaut: Type Compose + Quote (“) + Letter.
    • Dot: Type Compose + Period (.) + Letter.

    For a full list of Compose key sequences, check out the dedicated Wiki page. 

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