How To Type Characters With Accents On Windows

Type characters with accents

So, you’re getting into a habit of typing on your Windows PC. But, you run into an issue when you discover you can’t find accents on the keyboard. After all, there’s no way for you to long-press the letter and get accents, like in a smartphone.

Of course, you can always invest in a specialized keyboard. But, what if you don’t want to use one? Or invest in one? Where does that lead you?

Don’t be alarmed. There are many workarounds and convenient methods for you. We have compiled a list of the best ways. From most accessible to some of the less common options, you will find them all here.

After all, everyone’s brain works differently. So, you can choose any of these methods which best suits you. Let’s learn to use accent characters together!

Why Do You Need To Type Characters With Accents In Windows?

Accent characters help with the pronunciation. It also gives better spelling and eliminates any quality issues in writing. In the professional industry, it is indispensable to have impeccable writing for the documentation. The same applies to Academic Writing. That’s where you get a lot of reasons to use accent characters:

  • If you’re applying for admission to a highly-decorated institute, you will need it. Mainly because there will be words like ‘Fiance’ or ‘Fiancé.’ As you can see, one makes a better, clearer impression.
  • The English Language often adopts words from different languages. It has become a common practice worldwide. As such, many of those use accents. So, it would be better to spell them correctly.
  • Accent characters make an impression. But, they also help you appear intellectual. If you pay attention to these, you can also seem like a well-versed individual.
  • Sometimes, you just want to use them for fun. For instance, while chatting with friends and such.
  • If you’re a writer of any kind, you certainly want to use the correct accents. That’s important in Novels, Academic, or Professional Writing. Even content writers need it.

If you’re here, you already understand the value of accent letters. Besides, it can be fun learning to use them on Windows. Sure, it is not as easy or readily available as on your smartphones. But, it is still relatively easy for you to use. In this guide, we compiled all the known methods and some extra tips.

Ways To Insert Accent Characters In Text

  1. Use The On-Screen Keyboard
  2. Use The Keyboard Shortcuts
  3. Try A New Keyboard Layout
  4. Use The Windows Character Map
  5. Use The ASCII Codes Through ALT Key
  6. Use The Insert Option In Microsoft Word
  7. Use The AutoCorrect

Ways To Use Accented Characters In Microsoft Windows

1. Use The On-Screen Keyboard

using on screen keyboard from the task bar

Windows 10 comes with brilliant keyboard control. There are many things that make Windows 10 the best OS so far. Now you have an easy-to-use on-screen keyboard. If you want, you can use it to start using accented characters. It is almost as easy as using it on your smartphone’s keyboard.

What does that mean? It means that once you have the Keyboard on-screen, left-click on any letter. Make sure to hold it for a little and the options to enter accented letters will appear. After that, you can select the letters. But, you will first have to activate this option, and it is an extensive process.

  • First, click on the Start Menu button. Search for ‘Edit language and keyboard options.’ Click on it to open it.
  • Next, click on ‘Select your default language.’ Then go to options and select ‘Add Keyboard.’ All you need to do is scroll through the languages and select the US International (United States – International) from the list.
  • Once done, you can close the windows. Now, go to the Task Bar in the bottom right corner.
  • Right-click on it and select the ‘Show touch keyboard button.’
  • This will create a new Keyboard icon in your Taskbar. Now, click on that icon whenever you want to enter the accented letter.
  • It will open an on-screen keyboard for you. Long-press on any letter, and it will show you the accented options. Select the ones you want to insert.

It is that easy. This is also one of the best options available. It makes things convenient for you.

2. Use The Keyboard Shortcuts

Various keyboard shortcuts

So, you learned about the keyboard button option in the Taskbar. As we all know, Windows OS is known for various keyboard shortcuts. The same applies to Windows 10.

There are plenty of Shortcuts available for you. These shortcuts are the combinations of keys you press on your keyboard. Then, they lead to a specific result.

The same applies to the option to insert accent characters. You can use keyboard shortcuts to insert them while typing. At first, it might seem hectic, but you will get better with practice.

This method is usually the go-to method, especially for writers. With time, it will become as swift as typing for you:

  • Once again, go to the Edit language and Keyboard options from the Start Menu. Repeat the entire process you know from the previous step if you haven’t done that already. This will help you add the United States International keyboard to the system.
  • Remember that you will have to use the CTRL key on the keyboard each time. There are five types of accents that a Windows Keyboard allows you to use.
  • To use the acute accent, you will have to use the CTRL KEY + Apostrophe key (‘), also known as the Forward tick key. Then release the keys and press the letter you want to use an acute accent with. 
  • Similarly, for grave accent, you will have to use the CTRL + ` (The backtick key). The backtick key is often located at the top-left corner of the keyboard, next to the number 1 key.  Press them together, then release them and press the letter you want to use with a grave accent.
  • Circumflex accent and tilde accent will need a different approach. For a circumflex accent, you have to use CTRL + Shift + ^ (Caret) key together. Release them and then press the letter.
  • For the Tilde accent, you have to press CTRL + SHIFT + ~ (tilde) to use the accent.
  • Finally, for the Umlaut accent, you will have to use CTRL + SHIFT + : (colon button).
  • Each time, you have to press this combination, release them and then press the key.
  • Some users also advise that if you can’t use it somehow, turn on the CAPS LOCK. Sometimes, it allows the function to work. 

While it seems extensive and annoying, once you get used to it, it is pretty easy. Some keyboards don’t support this input. That’s due to the lack of driver updates. So, you can make sure to update your device driver or change the keyboard.

3. Try A New Keyboard Layout

edit language and keyboard options to change keyboard layout settings

Sometimes, none of the above-given options will work for you. In such cases, you might have to rely on adding a new keyboard layout. A keyboard layout is a language-changing option.

In other words, you can change the language you use with the keyboard by adding more layouts.

You can add almost any keyboard layout in today’s world. There are all languages available. These will make it easier for you to use a different language with accented letters.

For instance, a Spanish keyboard will come with accented letters and make it easier for you.

How do you do it?

  • You will have to access the Edit Language And Keyboard options again. There, you will have to select the default language, whichever it is. Go to the options and find the ‘Add a keyboard’ option.
  • Now, you will get plenty of options on the list. You can add more than a single keyboard by repeating the step.
  • Go to the ‘Language Bar Options.’ Select the Advanced Keys Tab, and you can assign a specific hotkey to change the language. It will make things easier for you.
  • You can also decide to use the ‘Show additional language bars icon in taskbar’ for ease of access. Both these options will allow you to switch language input for the keyboard (The layout).

With practice, you will learn to use the hotkeys, or the language bar, to easily change the languages.

4. Use The Windows Character Map

Searching for character maps and using it in the Windows 10 PC

There’s another option, just like the On-Screen Keyboard. But, it is just for you to add specific characters.

You can use this to find various ASCII codes, as well. It is an excellent tool for finding various symbols, characters, and accents that aren’t easy to access.

All you need to do is:

  • Go to the Start Menu or the Search Bar at the bottom.
  • Type: Character Map. This will bring you the search results. Now go ahead and click on it to launch it.
  • You can also use the Run command and type: charmap, then hit enter. Both options work fine.
  • A new window will open like a box. There will be plenty of letters and also characters with accents. If you scroll around, you will also find symbols like theta, beta, and such, among other things.
  • Now, to use the Character Map’s inserts, you can click on any letter. After that, drag and drop it to where you want to use it. Either that or you can click on the ‘Select’ button at the bottom, and it will show you on the bar next to it. You can copy and paste it from there. Almost any of the options will work.
  • You can drag and drop the character or copy and paste it. Copy-pasting could be better if you want to type out a word.

5. Use The ASCII Codes Through ALT Key

ASCII Codes table and list

You’re going to have a lot of fun with this method. Windows will come with all the ASCII codes that you can launch using the ALT key.

Each time, all you have to do is press and hold ALT Key. Then, type the number that corresponds to the said character. Here is a better instruction manual:

  • First, make sure that you have a Number Lock Key on. This will activate the number pad as it is important to use the ASCII codes on your Windows 10.
  • Next, you will have to find the ALT codes for the characters you want to use. Now, this can be pretty difficult to memorize. But, you can find it on the official Microsoft Support Page.
  • You can also use an ALT-Codes website. They will have all the number codes. You can also experiment with the codes. From ALT + 1 to 1,000, there are many codes and combinations for you to try.

This is an extensive process. It takes time and effort. But once you learn it, it will become a piece of cake for you. You will learn to use various characters, symbols, smileys, and much more. They are all available on your Windows OS.

6. Use The Insert Option In Microsoft Word

Microsoft Word insert symbol option more symbols list

Microsoft Word has advanced a lot in recent years. It has some of the best options. The insert option also existed for a long time. It is excellent for adding various things like tables, images, etc.

But, you can also use it to insert symbols. These symbols contain the accented letters and other things that you need.

  • If you use the latest version, go to the menu buttons at the top. Find the insert option. It will switch to the insert tab.
  • You will find Symbols and then Advanced Symbols in the list. Click on it.
  • You can also click on More symbols if you have an older version.

You will have more than 3,500 characters and symbols to use. There is an option to simplify them, filter them, or categorize them. You will also find various scripts and fonts to use if you want.  To use the font option:

  • Click on the Font bar, the drop-down button. Choose any of the fonts. Make sure to click the subset button to enter the characters.
  • You can also find a Latin supplement in the list of the Subset. Use it, and you will get all the accented characters.

The Word makes things easier because you can also find various symbols. For instance, you will find the copyright symbol, trademark, and many other options. You can insert these for the quality of your article or writing.

7. Use The AutoCorrect

Symbols auto-correct settings in Microsoft Word

If you’re using Word or Google Docs, they come with a great autocorrect feature. It allows you to fix the spelling of any word.

So, if you’re using accented characters just for the spellings, it can work. This option is good for the basic requirements. You won’t get all the symbols and such that you would like to use.

  • Open the Symbols once again in the Word.
  • Go to the Autocorrect option at the bottom left of the new symbol box.
  • Find the Replace box. Now, type the character you want to use and replace or word. Then click on Add and OK.

This method will permanently replace a specific letter or word. For example, you can use it to replace the typical characters. But, it is better to type an entire word and add it. So, whenever you type that letter, Word will auto-correct it for you.

This is not a quick method at all. You’re still going to invest a lot of time editing. For instance, the auto-correct won’t work for bigger words. So, you will first have to type the accented letter and then the rest of the spelling. In which case, it becomes annoying.

So, this in-practice is not practical. As a result, the other options are better. Stick to the typical auto-corrects to do the other job for you.

Conclusion – Accent Key And Accent Shortcuts For Windows

Now you have all the best methods for using accented letters, ASCII symbols, and much more. You can now choose the one that best fits you. Whether it is learning ALT Codes or the CTRL shortcuts, it is all about practice.

Once you practice enough, it will be just like typing or using other shortcuts. You will develop muscle memory and will have an easier time using it. So, go ahead and use the accented letters. Don’t compromise the quality of your writing anymore.

FAQs – Learn To Use E Keyboard, U Keyboard, I Keyboard E Accent Shortcut In Windows

Can You Set Input Language To French In Keyboard Settings For Windows?

Yes. You can select almost any kind of language in the keyboard setting. Windows 10 and 11 come with the same ease-of-setting languages as any other platform. If you often find yourself using French or related words, you can go ahead and use it. 

Why Do You Need Accents In The English Language?

Often, when you write something official, you prefer to appear thorough. Spellings of the words can also make a big difference. For instance, using ‘touche’ would work, but ‘touché’ is better. It gives authenticity. So, for any official writing, it is better to use correct accents. 

How To Insert Symbols If Character Map Or Insert Symbol Isn’t Working?

At this point, the best way is by using the ALT + Codes. Activate the number key, find and corresponding codes. Then press and hold the ALT key while typing the code in Number Pad. It is one of the best ways for you. If you get enough practice, it can become the quickest way, as well. 

Do You Have To Buy A Special Keyboard For Accent Characters?

No. There is no such thing as special keyboards. But, you can assign a secondary keyboard input, if you’d like, for accent characters. Ensure that your keyboard driver is up to date to work with the latest operating system. After that, you can make things work just fine. It is better to use an on-screen keyboard.