How to type characters with accents in Windows 10

Find out how to type characters with accents in Windows 10

While Windows 10 has been translated to 110 languages, many non-native English speakers prefer using the English versions of Windows 10. However, in some cases, users want to use characters with accents not in the English alphabet. This article will show you several ways you can type accented characters, which include using the Windows Character Map, using character alt codes, using keyboard shortcuts, and using a different keyboard layout.

When people need to type just a few words that they don’t have in their alphabet, they simply search for the word online and find what they’re looking for with accented characters already present. However, when you need to type many words with accents, googling the word becomes tedious and requires a more efficient approach.

How to type accented characters in Windows 10

Many western languages have words with characters of which the accents and diacritical marks determine the sound. There are five commonly used character accent groups: Grave, Acute, Circumflex, Tilde, and Umlaut. Here are some examples:

è - accent grave
é - accent acute
ê - circumflex
ñ - tilde
ë - umlaut

However, the accents mentioned above are not limited to the letters shown in the examples. Furthermore, there are a dozen more accents that include but are not limited to č - háček, ŭ - crescent, ē - macron, and å - bolle.

The good news is that Microsoft Windows supports all of the aforementioned accented characters and then some. Microsoft Windows assigns a numeric code to each accented character and other foreign characters and special mathematical symbols. For example, the code for lower case á is 0225, and the code for capital Á is 0193. To get the Alt codes for accented characters, you can refer to the Windows Character Map or search for them on the Internet.

For accented characters to be used, your computer’s keyboard should have a numeric keypad on its right side. To input an acute á (0225) for example, you have to hold down the Alt key, type the Alt Keyboard Sequence 0225 on the numeric keypad, and then release the ALT key. The Alt key input manually inserts these characters by calling the numeric code assigned to them.

If you’re using a standard US keyboard on your Windows 10 PC, but you want to type accented characters, know that you can do that using several methods. Each method of using accented characters is different, so choose the one that works for you the best.

Accented characters can be typed in all Windows versions, and Windows offers several ways you can enter accented characters in your text. Here are several guides that will show you how you can type in accented characters in your texts.

Table of Contents:

Method 1. Type in Accented characters using the on-screen keyboard

Adding accents has been made easy, thanks to improved keyboard controls in Windows 10. Using the on-screen keyboard in Windows is one easy way to input accented characters. To input characters using the on-screen keyboard, click and hold the mouse cursor over the letter you want to accent. A grid with available accented characters will appear, allowing you to select one of the options.

If you don’t see the keyboard icon on the taskbar, right-click the taskbar and click the Show touch keyboard button. Note that you may have to go to the language settings and add the US International keyboard layout for the accented characters to become available. See the guide below on how you can do that.

Open Start Menu and type in Edit language and keyboard options

1. Open the Start Menu and type in Edit language and keyboard options, and click the result.

Select your preffered language and click Options

2. Select your default language (for example (English United States)) and click Options.

Select United States-International

3. Select Add keyboard.

4. A drop-down menu will open, scroll trough the list and select United States-International.

Right-click Taskbar and select Show touch keyboard button

5. Go back to the desktop, right-click the taskbar and click the Show touch keyboard button.

click the keyboard icon on the taskbar

6. Then, click the keyboard icon on the taskbar to bring the bring up the on-screen keyboard.

Select United States-International

7. Select the United States-International keyboard layout.

Left-click and hold a character to reveal accented character options

8. Click and hold the left mouse button on a character, which will reveal accented character options.

Accented characters in text

9. Select the accented character to type it in.

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Method 2. Type in accented characters using keyboard shortcuts

Another easy way to type in accented characters in Windows 10 is using their keyboard shortcuts. Windows has keyboard shortcuts for five accent characters.

Open Start Menu and type in Edit language and keyboard options

1. Open the Start Menu and type in Edit language and keyboard options, and click the result.

Select your preferred language and click Options

2. Select your default language (for example English (United States)) and click Options.

Select United States-International

3. Select Add keyboard.

4. A drop-down menu will open, scroll through the list and select United States-International.

5. Hold down the Ctrl key on your keyboard.

6. While holding down the Ctrl key, hold down the Backtick (` ) key if you want a grave accent. Release the held-down keys and press the character key

7. While holding down the Ctrl key, hold down the Forwardtick (´) key if you want a character with an acute accent. Release the held-down keys and press the character key.

8. While holding down the Ctrl key, hold down Shift and Caret (^) keys if you want a character with a circumflex accent. Release the held-down keys and press the character key.

9. While holding down the Ctrl key, hold down Shift and Tilde (~) keys if you want a character with a tilde accent. Release the held-down keys and press the character key.

10. While holding down the Ctrl key, hold down Shift and Colon (:) keys if you want a character with an Umlaut accent. Release the held-down keys and press the character key.

Accented characters in text

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Method 3. Add a new keyboard layout

Open Start Menu and type in Edit language and keybaord options

1. Open the Start Menu and type in Edit language and keyboard options, and click the result.

Select your preferred language and click Options

2. Select the current default language and click Options.

clikc Add keyboard and select your foreign language keyboard

3. Then, click Add a keyboard.

4. Choose which keyboard layout you want to add.

5. Select the newly added keyboard layout by clicking the language icon on the taskbar and selecting the language.

6. To type using accented characters, select your foreign keyboard while pressing on the Shift key, and input the accented characters.

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Method 4. Use Windows Character Map

Microsoft Windows 10 features a built-in Character Map containing an extensive selection of accented characters from different languages. You can find any character using the ASCII code for that specific character. You can find the character you’re looking for and copy and paste it where you want.

Open Start Menu and type in Character Map

1. To open the Character Map, open the Start Menu and type in Character Map, and click the result. Alternatively, hold down Window+R keys to open Run, Type in charmap, and click OK.

2. Go through the list to find the character(s) you need.

Select accented characters from the Character Map

3. Click the character (the character will zoom in) you require and click Select to add it to the Characters to copy text box. Note that you can select more than one character.

4. The character will be copied to the Characters to copy text box.

5. Click the Copy button and the selected accented characters will be copied to the clipboard.

Right-click the text location and click Paste to insert the accented characters

6. Then, go to the location you want to paste them in, right-click the location, and click Paste.

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Method 5. Use Alt codes (ASCII codes) to type in accented characters

A convenient way to type in accented characters is by using ASCII codes. Windows has ASCII codes for all accented and specialized characters. They can be typed into a text by holding down the Alt key and entering their Alt code.

1. Press the Num Lock key on the keyboard to activate the keyboard’s numeric key section.

Open the Start Menu and type in Character Map

2. To find the accented character Alt codes (Alt Keyboard Sequences), open the Start Menu and type in Character Map, and click the result.

3. Go through the list to find the character(s) you require.

Get the accented character Alt codes from the Character Map

4. Select a character, and the Alt code will appear at the bottom-right side of the Character Map window. Note the alt code you require.

Character A with a tidle accent

5. Go back to the text where you want to input the accented character. While the Alt key is pressed, enter the alt code of the accented character.

6. After entering the alt code, release the Alt key, and the accented character will appear.

Note that the numerical sequence of Alt character codes has gaps as some elements do not exist or there are duplicate elements listed elsewhere.

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Video guide on how to type characters with accents in Windows 10

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