How To Type Accented Characters

If you have to Google/copy/paste every time you want to type a word with an accented character, we have good news for you: There's an easier way. Read on for the fastest way to type these letters on Mac, Windows and Linux. MacOS is easiest: Just hold down the key you want to accent (say, the e) and your options for accenting it will appear in a little pop-over menu: é, è, ê and so on. Most mobile keyboards, on iOS and Android, also work this way.

On Windows, your best bet is to enable "Show Touch Keyboard Button" on your taskbar. Then, when you want to type an accented letter, hit that button and hold down the letter on your keyboard. The video above shows you what this looks like.

On Linux systems, the quickest way to type these letters is with a compose key. After hitting this special key, you then type the letter you want to accent, and then a character that corresponds to the accent. To set this up in Ubuntu (if it isn't already), go to Text Entry settings, and then Keyboard settings. There, you can choose which key to set as your compose key.

I use the Menu key, so when I want to type the é in Pokémon, I just hit the menu key, then (in any order) the letter "e" and an apostrophe. To explore the rest of your compose key options, like ¼ and ¢ and ♫, check out this handy cheat sheet.


    On Windows, it's better to enable the US (International) keyboard as an additional layout (which you can toggle between on the taskbar). That has the benefits of allowing you to do a lot of accented character input in a session, and it works on every version of Windows going back about twenty years.

    I made my caps lock the compose key years ago, it's awesome to be able to type oo and get the ° symbol.

    All of the most common composes are easy to recall too. €, ö, ß (the german double s character) are e=, o", ss. Quite logical.

    And as an added advantage, one never shouts by accident, is the most useless and troublesome key normally.

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