How to Type French Accents on an English Keyboard

Written by adrian grahams Google
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How to Type French Accents on an English Keyboard
Include authentic French characters with accents in your documents and e-mails. (Polka Dot/Polka Dot/Getty Images)

The accent over certain letters in French language words changes the sound of the letter and the pronunciation of the word. If you use French words in documents or e-mails, then you might want to include the accent to make the spelling of the word accurate and authentic. Some computer keyboards include an accent option on the character key. You can usually access this by pressing and holding another key at the same time as the character key with the accent option. If your computer keyboard doesn't offer this feature, you can type accents on an English keyboard by using the computer's keyboard character map.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Open the Windows "Start" menu.

  2. 2

    Type "character map" into the search box that opens in the expanded Start menu. Click "Character Map" from the list of search results.

  3. 3

    Click the "Font" list and select the font that you want to use from the drop-down menu.

  4. 4

    Click the special character you want to insert into the document -- for example, "é." Click the "Select" button and then click "Copy."

  5. 5

    Open the document or e-mail message. Click on the document at the exact location where you want to insert the character with the French accent. Paste the character by pressing the "Ctrl" and "V" keys together on your keyboard.

Tips and warnings

  • Each of the special characters in the character map has an "Alt" code, allowing you to access it directly from your keyboard by pressing the "Alt" key and then entering a numeric code. If you need to type French accent characters often, you should note down these number codes for easy reference. The Alt code displays in the bottom of the character map when you select the character. For example, the Alt code for "é" is "Alt" + "0233."

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