You most likely have encountered words that contain special characters (such as á, ã, é,ñ,¿,¡) several times as you use the internet. Many of these characters are foreign to the English language.
For many, it is a mystery how they can create such characters in documents they type, and messages they send while chatting.
If you do not use those special characters, your reader is still likely to understand you. So if you type “sofa” instead of “sofá”, or cafe instead of café, whoever reads what you type is still going to understand you.
This article will explain how to type Spanish accents, and why you should make the effort and type out the Spanish accents. Explanations will be given on the various methods you may use across various devices.
Why You Should Use Spanish Accents While Typing
As has been mentioned earlier, many languages have special characters. Some English words with foreign origin also have those characters.
If you routinely come across words in French, Spanish, or German it would be immediately obvious that you need to learn how to type those special characters.
If you type Spanish words on a regular basis it is obvious that you need to use accents to type words in their proper form. If you correspond with native Spanish speakers frequently, it is advisable that you type Spanish words with the special characters needed.
Doing this will portray you as educated and classy. It would also make your reader have an easier time understanding the meaning and pronunciation of words you type.
How To Type Spanish Accents 👀
I will now proceed to explain how you can type these special characters. The method you use will depend on the type of device or operating system you use, it will also depend on the type of keyboard you use. Finally, the frequency with which you need to type Spanish accents will determine what method to use.
Spanish Accents on Mobile
This is perhaps the easiest of all the methods I’ll have to explain. Keyboards on mobile devices have made it extremely easy to type a wide range of characters.
On your smartphones, all you have to do is hold down the letter you want to accent and a menu will pop up. You can then choose the character you desire from the pop-up menu.
For example, to accent “e”, hold the “e” button, and choose which of the characters (ē,ê,ë,è,3,é) you want to use.
For ¿ and ¡, hold down the “?” and “!” keys respectively, and choose the characters.
Spanish Accents on Windows
To easily type Spanish accents on windows, ensure that the English (United States) keyboard is installed. You can do this by searching “language setting“, then “options“, then choose “add a keyboard“, and then select United-States International.
Once the keyboard is installed you’ll see a language bar next to the clock in the start bar. To select the keyboard click on “language” and choose ENG INTL.
Once all that has been done, you can begin typing. To accent vowels, type an apostrophe followed by the vowel you want to accent. So:
á= ‘ + a
é= ‘ + e
í= ‘ + i
ó= ‘ + o
ú= ‘ + u
Other keyboard combinations to take not of are:
ü= ” + u
ñ= ~ + n
¿= alt + ?
¡ = alt + !
Typing Accents on Mac
If you are familiar with the methods used in typing accents on smartphones as well as on windows, you will not have problems understanding how to type it on the Mac operating system.
To accent a vowel, just hold on to the vowel, as you’ll normally do on your smartphone. A menu pops up with all the possible accents. Select the one you want to use and you’re good to go.
To type ñ, you will need to use some keyboard combinations. First press and hold the alt key (sometimes called the option key), whilst holding the key, press “N“, waited for the ~ symbol to appear. You’ll notice the symbol highlighted in yellow. Once the symbol appears, let go of both keys and press “N” again.
To type the upside-down question mark “¿“, press and hold alt/option and shift simultaneously. Whilst holding the keys, press “?“.
The keyboard combination to type “¡” varies depending on your computer. You’ll have to play around on your computer a little to discover what combination works for you.
What you have to do is hold the alt/option key then play around with a few keys to see what combination produces the “¡” character.
On some old Mac keyboards, you will not see a pop-up menu when you hold a vowel key. Not to worry, you can still type the accented vowels.
You’ll have to play around on your keyboard to know what works. Hold the alt/option key and play around with several keys until you see the one that produces the character you want to be highlighted in yellow. Next, let go of both keys and type the letter you want to accent.
Typing Accents Using Number Codes
On different keyboards, you can type the accents by holding down the alt key while typing a three-digit number. You should note that this action can only be performed on keyboards that have a number pad on the right side. You cannot use the number keys at the top of the keyboard.
The combinations to type the accents are given below:-
á= alt + 0225
é= alt + 0233
í= alt + 0237
ó= alt + 0243
ú= alt + 0250
ü= alt + 0252
ñ= alt + 0241
¿= alt + 0191
¡= alt + 0161
The characters appear when you release the alt button. You should consider having all these codes on a cheat sheet beside you until you have memorized them all.
Typing Spanish Accents on Keyboards With No Number Pad
If your keyboard doesn’t have a number pad at the right side, you’re probably wondering how you’ll be able to type the Spanish accents. Not to worry, there is a way to do it. You can change the keys at the top right side (7,8,9, U, I, O, J, K, L, M) into a number pad.
For keyboards with this option, you’ll see the corresponding number under each letter. To activate the number pad, you’ll have to use the Num lock key. The exact combination for activating it varies depending on your keyboard. Some possible steps include:
- Press the Number lock key
- Num lock+ alt
- Num lock+ shift
- Num lock+ Fn
Once this number pad has been activated, you can then follow the exact steps explained for typing accents using number codes.
Typing Spanish Accents on Microsoft Office
If you are working on Microsoft office, there is a shortcut for typing accented vowels. All you have to do is hold the Ctrl key, the ‘ key, and the vowel you want to accent together.
For instance, á= Ctrl + ‘ + a
For ñ, use Ctrl + ~ + n = ñ.
Typing Accents Using Character Map
You can copy and paste characters from the character map into any document you are typing. To find the character map, go to the start button and search for character map.
You can then scroll through the character map to find the exact character you want to use. Copy and paste the character on the document you’re typing.
If the characters you use are predominantly Spanish, you can create a new document containing only Spanish accented characters.
Type Spanish Accents with Online Portal
If you are looking for the online option to type Spanish accents then visit https://studyspanish.com/typing-spanish-accents and use the buttons to type the special characters.
Full Keyboard Configuration
If you use Spanish letters and punctuations regularly, we recommend adding the Spanish keyboard configuration. Doing this would save you a great amount of time once you begin typing in Spanish.
For those who do not use Spanish words frequently, it may be better to stick with any of the methods already discussed for typing Spanish accents.
To add the Spanish keyboard configuration, follow these steps, depending on your operating system:
Go to system preferences
Next, select “international”
Choose the “input menu” tab
Scroll down, then choose “Spanish-ISO”
Select “show input menu in menu bar” to be able to select the keyboard you want to use, and thus switch between languages
Click on the start menu and search for the “Language Settings“, under preferred language select the “add a preferred language option” and search for the Spanish and add it.
Doing this would make it easy to switch to a Spanish keyboard when needed. You may have some difficulty adjusting to the layout of the Spanish keyboard. Some punctuation marks ate placed differently than on an English keyboard.
To solve this problem, you can put a skin on your keyboard to help you learn the new key placements. Skins are plastic keyboard covers that you place on top of the original keyboard. They come in different languages.
Learning how to type accents in Spanish will come in handy in several situations. They will help you communicate better with your Spanish speaking friends and colleagues.