How Do I Accent Letters on a Macbook?

Written by k.c. winslow
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Though the letters on most keyboards do not carry accent marks, it is possible to accent letters you are typing in any program running on your MacBook. You can use accents with any vowel as well as accented consonants. To accent letters, you will use the “Option” modifier key on your keyboard and an additional key assigned to the specific accent you want to make, whether it is acute, circumflex, grave, tilde or umlaut.

Skill level:
Easy

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Add an acute accent, such as “é,” to a letter, by holding down the “Option” key and the “E” key at the same time and releasing. Type the letter that you want to accent. If you want the accented letter capitalised, hold down the “Shift” key when you type the letter.

  2. 2

    Add a circumflex accent, such as “ô,” to a letter by holding down the “Option” key and the “I” key at the same time and releasing. Type the letter that you want to accent. If you want the accented letter capitalised, hold down the “Shift” key when you type the letter.

  3. 3

    Add a grave accent, such as “à,” to a letter by holding down the “Option” key and the “” key at the same time and releasing. The “” is on the right hand side of the numbers on your keyboard. Type the letter that you want to accent. If you want the accented letter capitalised, hold down the “Shift” key when you type the letter.

  4. 4

    Add a tilde accent, such as “ñ,” to a letter by holding down the “Option” key and the “N” key at the same time and releasing. Type the letter that you want to accent. If you want the accented letter capitalised, hold down the “Shift” key when you type the letter.

  5. 5

    Add an umlaut accent, such as “ü,” to a letter by holding down the “Option” key and the “U” key at the same time and releasing. Type the letter that you want to accent. If you want the accented letter capitalised, hold down the “Shift” key when you type the letter.

Tips and warnings

  • To view the modifier key codes for other foreign characters and symbols, visit Penn State’s “Computing with Accents, Symbols and Foreign Scripts” page for Mac (see Resources).

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