How to Insert the French Alphabet in MS Word

Written by anni martin
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The French and English alphabets may share the same letters on a keyboard, but the sounds are different. Accents are added for the sounds when you write. For example, the French version of please, s'il vous plait, needs a circumflex accent on the i. Inserting French special accents can require a new supplement in Microsoft Word 2007 if you plan on typing in French as a daily activity. You can purchase an MS Language Pack, which allows you to use French keyboards, menus, proofing tools and help functions. If you are just doing a few items in French, no investment is required. You can use shortcut keys to add French accents as you type.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Microsoft Word 2007

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  1. 1

    Open Word 2007 and begin typing. To add accents to your letters, press the Control key in combination with another key followed by the letter you need to accent. Here are the standard keyboard strokes to insert French accents in your writing.

  2. 2

    Adding l'accent aigu to a word uses the key combination of "Control" and "apostrophe." After you press the key combination once, press a letter to be accented. For example, if you wanted to write j'écoute (I listen), you need an e with l'accent aigu. To get the accent over the e, press the Control key plus the apostrophe key and then press e to get an accented é.

  3. 3

    To create l'accent grave in a word, press "Control" in conjunction with "accent grave" (the key just to the left of the number 1 key), and then press a letter. For example, une pièce (a room) needs an e with l'accent grave. To achieve this, press the Control key plus the accent grave key once and then press e for è.

  4. 4

    Pressing "Control" and "comma" followed by a letter key results in la cedilla. To add la cedilla to c, press control plus, release the keys and press c to get ç like in ça va meaning "how's it going."

  5. 5

    Adding le tréma to your letter is also a key combination, but you will need to add in the Shift key. For le tréma, the key combination is "Control" plus "Shift" plus a colon and a letter. Your results should look like ä.

  6. 6

    To insert l'accent circumflex like in the word côte (rib or chop), your key combination is "Control" plus "Shift" plus a caret (the number 6 symbol) followed by a letter.

Tips and warnings

  • In Microsoft Word 2007, you can also enable the dictionary to check your French spelling. To do this, open Word and click on the "Review" tab. On the left-hand side of the menu bar, you will see the Set Language option. Click on "Set Language" to bring up the language dialogue box. Use the scroll bar to find the version of French you wish to use and select that version. Allow the program to check your spellings automatically.

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