How to type accents é, è, ñ, ü, ê and other special characters on your Mac keyboard

Tuesday, January 12, 2016 - 2:10 am
By Colin

Problem:  You’re on an English keyboard on a Mac, and you need to type letters with accents, like é, è, ñ, ü, ê or other special characters, like ç, å, æ, or œ.

Solution:   Use the Keyboard Viewer built into OS X.

  1. Go to the Apple menu top left
  2. Open “System Preferences”
  3. Click on “Keyboard”
  4. At the bottom of the Keyboard panel, check: “Show Keyboard, Emoji, & Symbol Viewers in menu bar”

Once the Keyboard Viewer icon is in your menu bar (top, right side)
keyboardViewerIcon
click on it and an image of your keyboard will appear.  If you press the “option” key, the special characters will appear in orange, and now you know where they are.

For example: to type è, hold down ‘option’, hit the backwards quote key top left, let go of all keys, and then hit the e key.  Voila: è!

 

Here’s a 45 second video of how to put the Keyboard Viewer in your menu, and of the Keyboard Viewer in action:

Super Tip: If you need to type a document in a language like French, Spanish, German, or Italian and you know you are going to need a lot of these accents and umlauts, just leave the Keyboard Viewer up in a corner of your screen. Your speed increase will be huge!

Super Duper Tip:If you don’t think the Keyboard Viewer is going to help you, and you just want the list of letters and key combinations to type, here they are:

  1. à: option + ` then a
  2. è: option + ` then e
  3. ì: option + ` then i
  4. ò: option + ` then o
  5. ù: option + ` then u

  6. á: option + e then a
  7. é: option + e then e
  8. í: option + e then i
  9. ó: option + e then o
  10. ú: option + e then u

  11. ä: option + u then a
  12. ë: option + u then e
  13. ï: option + u then i
  14. ö: option + u then o
  15. ü: option + u then u

  16. â: option + i then a
  17. ê: option + i then e
  18. î: option + i then i
  19. ô: option + i then o
  20. û: option + i then u

  21. ã: option + n then a
  22. ñ: option + n then n
  23. õ: option + n then o

  24. ç: option + c
  25. œ: option + q
  26. æ: option + '
  27. å: option + a

  28. ¡: option + 1
  29. ¿: option + shift + /
  30. : option + [
  31. : option + ]
  32. «: option + \
  33. »: option + shift + \

  34. : option + 2
  35. ®: option + r
  36. ©: option + g
  37. : option + t
  38. : option + shift + 7
  39. : option + shift + k

  40. £: option + 3
  41. ¢: option + 4
  42. ¥: option + y
  43. : option + shift + 2
  44. : option + shift + r
  45. : option + shift + 5
  46. : option + shift + 6

  47. : option + 5
  48. : option + w
  49. ß: option + s
  50. ø: option + o
  51. π: option + p
  52. : option + d
  53. ƒ: option + f
  54. Ω: option + z
  55. : option + b
  56. µ: option + m
  57. : option + j
  58. : option + shift + v
  59. : option + shift + p

  60. ˙: option + h
  61. ˚: option + k
  62. °: option + shift + 8
  63. ·: option + shift + 9

  64. ¬: option + h
  65. : option + k

  66. §: option + 6
  67. : option + 7
  68. : option + 8
  69. ª: option + 9
  70. º: option + 0

  71. ±: option + shift + =
  72. : option + -
  73. : option + v
  74. ÷: option + /
  75. : option + x
  76. : option + =
  77. : option + shift + 3
  78. : option + ,
  79. : option + shift + 4
  80. : option + .

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