The Spanish language contains a few special symbols and letters that are not used in the English language. There are vowels with accents over them, the vowel u with the diaeresis over it, the addition of the consonant ñ, and additional punctuation marks. To type these Spanish symbols, there is no need to purchase a new keyboard, since these symbols can be typed on a traditional keyboard. The process to access the keys, however, is different for Windows and Mac users.
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Change the keyboard language on your computer to access the special options needed to type the Spanish language letters. Access the control panel and follow the options to change the language and then the keyboard if you are a Windows user. Access the system preferences and follow the international options to change the keyboard and the language if you are a Mac user.
Click the apostrophe key and the corresponding vowel to type letters with an accent over it in Windows. Type apostrophe plus the letter a key to get á. Mac users would click the Opt key while pressing the letter e key and then the vowel they wish to put an accent over. Type Opt while pressing e and then press the letter a key to get á. These two methods would apply to all vowels.
Click the ~ key and the letter n key to type the consonant ñ if you are a Windows user. Click the Opt key and the letter n key to get the ñ symbol if you are a Mac user.
Click the " key and the letter u key to put a diaeresis over the vowel u and get the symbol ü in Windows. Hold down the Opt key while pressing the letter u key and then type the letter u again to get the ü symbol if you are a Mac user.
Click and hold the Alt key and press the ! key to get the ¡ symbol if you are a Windows user. Click Opt and the number 1 key to get the ¡ symbol if you are a Mac user.
Click and hold the Alt key and press the ? key to get the ¿ symbol if you are a Windows user. Click the Opt key, the shift key and the ? key to get the ¿ if you are a Mac user.
Tips and warnings
- There is an old method of getting these Spanish symbols on the Windows system that does not require switching the language on your keyboard. This method is not guaranteed to work on all systems and may require the user to use the numeric keypad on the right side of a keyboard. You would need to hold down the Alt key and type in a numeric code corresponding to each symbol. The codes are below.
- á: Alt + 0225, é: Alt + 0233, í: Alt + 0237, ó: Alt + 0243, ú: Alt + 0250, ñ: Alt + 0241, ü: Alt + 0252, ¡: Alt + 0161, ¿: Alt + 0191
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