Study Hints and Links

Study Hints and Links

Helpful Study Hints

Typing Accents in French, German, Spanish, & Italian


Tired of trying to figure out how to type an umlaut on a German assignment or an accent in your French homework? Check out these guides for easier and faster typing!

Macintosh
Macs are by far the easiest to use when it comes to typing foreign language characters and symbols; with just a couple of extra keystrokes, you can create a professional-looking paper or homework assignment. You must use the Option + e keystroke when typing accented characters on a Macintosh computer. For example, to type the letter á, hold down the Option key and the letter "e" at the same time, release the Option and the "e" key, and type the letter "a." To type a capital Á, do the same, except hold the Shift key down when typing the letter "a."

To insert:

Press these keys:

Release, then press one of the following keys:

à, è, ì, ò, or ù
(or À, È, Ì, Ò, or Ù)

Option + ` (accent key, located in upper left corner)

a, e, i, o, or u
(or Shift + a, e, i, o, or u)

á, é, í, ó, or ú
(or Á, É, Í, Ó, or Ú)

Option + e

a, e, i, o, or u
(or Shift + a, e, i, o, or u)

â, ê, î, ô, or û
(or Â, Ê, Î, Ô, or Û)

Option + i

a, e, i, o, or u
(or Shift + a, e, i, o, or u)

ä, ë, ï, ö, ü, or ÿ
(or Ä, Ë, Ï, Ö, Ü, or ü)

Option + u

a, e, i, o, u, or y
(or Shift + a, e, i, o, u, or y)

ã, ñ, or õ
(or Ã, Ñ, or Õ)

Option + n

a, n, or o
(or Shift + a, n, or o)

Other symbols:

To insert:

Press these keys:

ç
(or Ç)

Option + c
(or Option + Shift + c)

¿

Option + Shift + ?

¡

Option + 1

ß

Option + s

æ
(or Æ)

Option + ' (apostrophe key)
(or Option + Shift + ')

ú
(or å)

Option + q
(or Option + Shift + q)

«

Option + \
(slash key directly under the Delete key)

»

Option + Shift + \

º

Option + 0

ª

Option + 9


PC
PCs require more keystrokes than MACs when it comes to typing foreign language characters. There are two methods one can use: the "ALT key" method and the "insert symbol" method.

"ALT key" method

Foreign characters and symbols can be generated by combining the ALT key (found to the left of the space bar) with multiple numeric keystrokes (called "codes"). For example, to type the letter ñ, hold down the ALT key and type the numbers 0241. Please note that to type Ñ requires an entirely different code, not simply holding down the Shift key while typing the 0241 code (this holds true for all special characters).

To insert:

Hold down the ALT key while typing:

À

0192

à

0224

È

0200

è

0232

Ì

0204

ì

0236

Ò

0210

ò

0242

Ù

0217

ù

0249

Â

0194

â

0226

Ê

0202

ê

0234

Î

0206

î

0238

Ô

0212

ô

0244

Û

0219

û

0251

Á

0193

á

0225

É

0201

é

0233

Í

0205

í

0237

Ó

0211

ó

0243

Ú

0218

ú

0250

Ä

0196

ä

0228

Ë

0203

ë

0235

Ï

0207

ï

0239

Ö

0214

ö

0246

Ü

0220

ü

0252

ÿ

0255

Ç

0199

ç

0231

Ã

0195

ã

0227

Ñ

0209

ñ

0241

Other Symbols:

To insert:

Hold down the ALT key while typing:

ß

0223

¿

0191

¡

0161

Æ

0198

æ

0230

å

0140

ú

0156

«

0171

»

0187

The "Insert Symbol" Method


If typing number codes seems awkward to you, there is another option available. This method allows you to design your own "shortcut" keystrokes that will become part of a document's memory (meaning even if you close out of the document, the shortcut keystrokes you set up will still work when you open it again). However, you will have to reset your shortcut keys every time you open a new Word document, so you may find this method too time consuming. Here's how it works:

From the toolbar at the top of your screen select Insert. Scroll down the menu until you reach Symbol and click on it. This brings you to a window that displays rows of language symbols. Most of the symbols you will need for typing French, German, Spanish or Italian are found in the normal text font, subset: Latin-1. If you don't see the symbol that you need, scroll down.

To insert them into your document, click on the symbol desired, then click on the "Insert" button (located at the lower right corner) and the selected symbol will automatically be placed at the cursor point in your document. If you prefer, open this window every time you need language symbols and insert them one by one.

To avoid the cumbersome Symbol window method, click on the "shortcut key" button in the lower left corner of the window (rather than the "Insert" key). This will take you to a different window, where you will be asked to assign keystrokes to a symbol in the "press new shortcut key" box. Press the keys desired simultaneously; for example, assigning ALT + s to become the shortcut for ß. Once shortcut keys are selected, the window will notify you if this keystroke combination has already been assigned (directly underneath where it says "Currently assigned to:"). If you wish to override the previous assignment, simply click on the "Assign" button (middle right side), then the "Close" button, and your new assignment will override the old, and become part of your document's memory (meaning every time you need to insert ß, all you need to do is type ALT + s). If you do not wish to override the previous key assignments, simply delete the assignment you made, select new keystrokes, then click the "Assign" button, then "Close" in the lower left corner.

Setting up shortcut keystrokes under the "insert symbol" method allows you to design a unique system of language symbol insertion that is easiest for you to use and remember. Students often find it most efficient to write down the shortcut keys they set up the first time, then use the same system for every document they open.

 


 

 

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