How to type symbols and letters with accents

Did you know your keyboard can type more than just the letters you see on the keys? If your keyboard has a Numeric Keypad (a set of numbers on the righthand side), you can type many other kinds of symbols as well as letters with accents.

First, use the “Num Lock” key to switch on the Numeric Keypad (you can tell that it’s on if you’re able to type its numbers).

Then, as an example, to type the é in Archbishop Pérez’s name, first hold down the ALT key. Then using the Numeric Keypad, type the number 130. Then release the ALT key, and the letter should appear.

These are called “Alt Codes,” and they allow you to type many different kinds of accents and symbols. Below is a reference list available of useful Alt Codes:

SymbolHold ALT key plus this number:SymbolHold ALT key plus this number:
À192 à133
Á193 á160
Ã195 ã227
Ä196 ä132
Â194 â131
Æ198 æ145
     
È200 é130
É201 è138
Ê202 ê136
Ë203 ë137
     
Ì204 ï139
Í205 î140
Î206 ì141
Ï207 í161
     
Ö153 ô147
Ò210 ò149
Ó211 ó162
Ô212 ö148
Õ213 õ245
     
Ù217 û150
Ú218 ù151
Û219 ú163
Ü220 ü129
     
Ý221 ÿ255
Ÿ159 ý253
     
Ñ165 ñ164
     
Ç199 ç135
     
½189 ¿0191
¼188 ¡0161
30 ÷246
31 ®0174
16 ©0169
17 0153
7 ¢0162

Microsoft Word

If your keyboard doesn’t have a Numeric Keypad, you can still type accents if you use Microsoft Word, which provides its own shortcuts. To type that same é in Word, hold down the CTRL key and tap the ‘ (apostrophe) key. Then let go of both keys and tap the e key.

Below are the shortcuts that Word provides:

AccentHow to type in Word
é Hold CTRL key, tap ‘ (apostrophe), then release keys and type the letter
ê Hold both SHIFT and CTRL keys, tap ^ then release keys and type the letter
è Hold CTRL key, tap ~ (which is also the ` key), release keys and type the letter
ñ Hold both SHIFT and CTRL keys, tap ~ then release keys and type the letter
ë Hold both SHIFT and CTRL keys, tap : then release keys and type the letter

On a Mac

If you’re using a Mac, there are various methods to type accents:

  • To type the same é, hold down the OPTION key, tap the e key, then release the keys and tap the e key. (See similar commands below).
  • Alternatively, you can open a full list of characters to choose from by holding the COMMAND and CONTROL keys and tapping the SPACEBAR.
  • Many modern Mac computers also allow you to simply hold down a key and a pop-up list will appear of available accents for that letter.
AccentHow to type on a Mac
áHold down OPTION key and then press “e”, then type the letter you want to accent
àHold down OPTION key and then press “`”, then type the letter to accent
âHold down OPTION key and then press “i”, then press the letter
ñHold down OPTION key and then press “n”, then type the letter
öHold down OPTION key and then press “u”, then type the letter
çHold down OPTION key and then press “c”
øHold down OPTION key and then press “o”
æHold down OPTION key and then press “ ‘ ”
¿Hold down OPTION key and SHIFT key and then press “?”
¡Hold down OPTION key and then press “1”

Smartphones

If you’re using a mobile phone, in most cases you’ll be able to type that same é by holding down the e key and selecting it from a pop-up list. The same goes for other letters with accents.

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