How to type letter accents and special characters on a Mac
We’ll show you a couple of easy keyboard shortcuts to help out.
Quick Answer: One of the quickest ways to type letter accents on Mac is to hold the key of the character you wish to modify, and a menu with available options should appear. From here, click the character you wish to use.
If you’ve ever had to type a word and couldn’t figure out how to add letter accents on Mac, you’re not alone.
Moments of uncertainty can interrupt your workflow and leave you searching for answers.
Luckily, typing letter accents and other special Mac characters is simple in macOS once you know how. And you have several viable options. Some are swift, while others take additional time.
Let’s discuss several ways to type special characters on a Mac.
How to type letter accents on Mac
One of the quickest ways to type letter accents is to hold the key of the character you wish to modify, and a menu with available options should appear.
For example, holding the e key brings up: è, é, ê, ë, ē, ė, and ę. You can either click the character you wish to use or press the corresponding number key.
Learning the various key combinations is worth the effort if you use letter accents a lot.
Once your fingers familiarize themselves with the appropriate actions, adding accents becomes a normal part of typing.
How to type accents on Mac using key combinations
- Hold Option and press the key that corresponds to the appropriate accent. For example, e=´, n=˜, u=¨, i=ˆ, and
2. Release Option and press the letter you want to accent
You can only modify letters that normally have an accented version, which means you can’t go throwing a squiggly line over any old character.
With enough practice, accented letters soon flow onto the page like any other standard symbol.
Bonus Tip: For anyone wanting to write in Español: Pressing Shift + Option + ? will type a ¿.
How to type special characters in macOS
If you’d prefer to see a complete list of accented letters and other special characters, the symbol viewer has the goods.
How to view emojis, accented letters, and other special characters in macOS
Click Edit > Emojis & Symbols or press the fn key
Click the Expand button if necessary
Select an option in the sidebar. Latin contains all of the accented letters
Using key combinations may be the quickest way to drop an accent on a character, but the symbol viewer provides a comprehensive list of all available options.
Letter accents and special characters are yours to command
You now have the knowledge to accent letters and type special characters on Mac without interruption.
Whatever technique you choose—swift fingers, button presser, or constant clicker—your workflow should improve, and moments of idle head-scratching should reduce.
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