Typing Accented Characters

Windows Alt Codes

In Windows, combinations of the ALT key plus a numeric code can be used to type a character (accented letter or punctuation symbol) in any Windows application.  In order to use these codes, your computer should have a separate numeric keypad on the right.

To enter a code, place your cursor in the location where you wish to insert a special character.

Activate the numeric key pad on the right of the keyboard by pressing Num Lock (upper right of keyboard). The Num Lock light on the keyboard will indicate that the numeric key pad is on.

NOTE: You must use the numeric key pad; if you use the number keys on the top of the keyboard, the characters will not appear.

While pressing down the ALT key, type the four-digit code on the numeric key pad at the right edge of the keyboard. The codes are "case sensitive." For instance, the code for lower-case á is ALT+0225, but capital Á is ALT+0193.

Release the ALT key. The character will appear when the ALT key is released.

NOTE: You must include the initial zero in the code. For example to insert á (0225) you must type ALT+0225, NOT ALT+225.

Based on materials compiled by Penn State University.

Vowels

Caps

Lowercase

À

ALT+0192

à

ALT+0224

Á

ALT+0193

á

ALT+0225

Â

ALT+0194

â

ALT+0226

È

ALT+0200

è

ALT+0232

É

ALT+0201

é

ALT+0233

Ê

ALT+0202

ê

ALT+0234

Ì

ALT+0204

ì

ALT+0236

Í

ALT+0205

í

ALT+0237

Î

ALT+0206

î

ALT+0238

Ò

ALT+0210

ò

ALT+0242

Ó

ALT+0211

ó

ALT+0243

Ô

ALT+0212

ô

ALT+0244

Ù

ALT+0217

ù

ALT+0249

Ú

ALT+0218

ú

ALT+0250

Û

ALT+0219

û

ALT+0251

Ü

ALT+0220

ü

ALT+0252
Consonants

Caps

Lowercase

Ñ

ALT+0209

ñ

ALT+0241
Ç ALT+0199

ç

ALT+0231
ß ALT+0223    

Punctuation/Symbols

¿ ALT+0191
¡ ALT+0161

«

ALT+0171

»

ALT+0187

ALT+0128

Macintosh Accent Codes

Character

Description

Grave (Backwards) Accent

Type Option+`, then then the vowel. For instance, to type à hold down Option+` then type A. To type À, hold down Option+`, then type capital A.*

Acute (Forwards) Accent

Type Option+E, then the vowel.

Circumflex

Type Option+I, then the vowel.

Umlaut

Type Option+U, then the vowel.

Ñ, ñ (tilde)

Type Option+N, then either lowercase n for ñ or capital N for Ñ.

Ç, ç (cedille)

Shift+Option+C, Option+C

¿, ¡

Shift+Option+?    
Option+1

«, »

Option+\
Shift+Option+\

Shift+Control+2 (may not work for all fonts)

*The [`] key is located in the upper left hand corner of your keyboard, under the tilde [~] sign.

Changing your default keyboard layout

   You can also change your keyboard layout from the US English configuration to a foreign one.  Both Macintosh and Windows environments are capable of this change.  The drawback, of course, is that while your computer may think that you are using a foreign keyboard, the arrangement of the keys on your keyboard will not change, so you will have to make adjustments for this (probably spending some time hunting to figure out what key does what if you're not completely familiar with the foreign keyboard layout).  There are examples of Spanish keyboard layout on the web at Wesleyan.

See more information about using keyboards with various languages.