How to type symbols and letters with accent marks

Here's how to type symbols and accented letters on your Mac or PC

There are an assortment of symbols and special characters necessary in online communication. Whether you need to include a registered trademark or accent a letter for accuracy, they can make all the difference in your communication. While you may not see them displayed on your QWERTY keyboard, you can access them without any special software. Read this guide to learn how to type symbols and accented letters on Windows or MacOS.

Also, check out our picks for the best Windows keyboard shortcuts, the best MacOS keyboard shortcuts, and the best free Microsoft Office alternatives.

Typing symbols in Windows 10

Dell XPS 15 9570 keyboard close
Dan Baker/Digital Trends

Your Windows PC has many alt-key shortcuts programmed into it that are pretty easy to type out. However, it should be noted that if you’re using Windows and you have a keyboard with a full number pad, you can only execute these keyboard shortcuts if you use the number keys on your number pad, with the number lock key turned on. Using the number keys directly located below the row of F-keys will not work, which we discovered during independent testing.

If you don’t have a keyboard without a number pad, you can use the on-screen keyboard in Windows to perform these tasks. To find the keyboard in Windows 10, roll your cursor over to the lower right side of the screen and right click on the taskbar. Then, click on “Show Touch keyboard Button.” You can then long tap or long hold your mouse down on any given letter to find symbols and other alternate characters.

Step 1: Open your word processor and locate either alt key on your keyboard. Typically, the alt keys are located on either side of your spacebar.

Step 2: Scan the lists below for the symbol you want to type out.

Step 3: Make sure the cursor is located in the place where you want to insert the symbol of your choice. Then enter its corresponding keyboard shortcut. For instance, holding the alt key and pressing the 1 on your Numpad will insert a smiley face (☺) in your copy.




alt + 1
alt + 2
alt + 3



alt + 0169 ©
alt + 0153
alt + 0174 ®



Alt + 35 #
Alt + 241 ±
alt + 0188 ¼
alt + 0189 ½
alt + 0190 ¾
alt + 0247 ÷
alt + 60 <
alt + 62 >
alt + 242
alt + 243

Uppercase Accented Letters         


alt + 0192 À
alt + 0193 Á
alt + 0194 Â
alt + 0195 Ã
alt + 0196 Ä
alt + 0199 Ç
alt + 0200 È
alt + 0201 É
alt + 0202 Ê
alt + 0203 Ë
alt + 0204 Ì
alt + 0205 Í
alt + 0206 ú
alt + 0207 û
alt + 165 Ñ
alt + 0210 Ò
alt + 0211 Ó
alt + 0212 Ô
alt + 0213 Õ
alt + 0214 Ö
alt + 0217 Ù
alt + 0218 Ú
alt + 0219 Û
alt + 0220 Ü
alt + 0221 Ý
alt + 0159 Ÿ
alt + 0142 Ž

 Lowercase Accented letters        


alt + 0224 à
alt + 0225 á
alt + 0226 â
alt + 0227 ã
alt + 0228 ä
alt + 0229 å
alt + 0230 æ
alt + 0231 ç
alt + 0232 è
alt + 0233 é
alt + 0234 ê
alt + 0235 ë
alt + 0236 ì
alt + 0237 í
alt + 0238 î
alt + 0239 ï
alt + 164 ñ
alt + 0242 ò
alt + 0243 ó
alt + 0244 ô
alt + 0245 õ
alt + 0246 ö
alt + 0154 š
alt + 0249 ù
alt + 151 ù
alt + 150 û
alt + 0252 ü
alt + 0253 ý
alt + 0255 ÿ
alt + 0158 ž



alt + 0164 ¤
alt + 155 ¢
alt + 156 £
alt + 157 ¥
alt + 158
alt + 159 ƒ

Using the character map on Windows

Character Map is installed onto every Microsoft Operating system; it allows you to copy and paste accented letters and symbols into documents, whether you use Word, WordPad, Google Docs, or another program.

Step 1: Head to the Windows Start Menu and then type in “character map” to search. After that, click it to open the application. Then, click it to open the app when it appears in the search results.

Step 2: Once opened, you’ll see a list of characters. Scroll through the list until you locate your desired symbol or letter. Once found, click the Select button next to the text field. Your selected symbol or letter will then appear in the text field labeled “Characters to copy.”

Step 3: Click Copy, then paste them in their respective places within in your document.

Typing symbols in MacOS

Typing out symbols on an Apple computer is much more simple. With Macs, each shortcut incorporates the Option key, which typically sits between the Command and Control buttons. Some combinations also require you to press Shift, which could be a tad tricky. The Shift key is generally located one row above the Option key.

Alternatively, you also can also simply hold down a given key on your keyboard until an alternate character (like a letter with a tilde) appears for selection. That will help you skip through the steps below.

Apple MacBook 13-inch Touch Pad
Bill Roberson/Digital Trends

Step 1: Launch your word processor of choice, and locate either of the Option keys on your keyboard. 

Step 2: Find the symbol you want to type out in the lists below.

Step 3: Click the exact location of your document where you want the symbol to appear, and simply enter the corresponding keyboard shortcut.



Option + 2
Option + g ©
Option + r ®



Option + p π
Option + ,
Option + .
Option + / ÷
Option + v
Option + x
Option + j
Option + =
Option + w
Option + Shift + r
Option + Shift + = ±

Accented Letters                             


Option + ` + vowel (a e i o u) àèìòù
Option + N + N or A or O ñãõ
Option + Shift + A Å
Option + Shift + M Â
Option + Shift + ` Æ
Option + Shift + C Ç
Option + Shift + S Í
Option + Shift + D Î
Option + Shift + F Ï
Option + Shift + H Ó
Option + Shift + J Ô
Option + Shift + L Ò
Option + Shift + ; Ú
Option + Shift + /  ¿



Option + 3 £
Option + 4 ¢
Option + y ¥
Option + Shift + 2

Typing symbols using the Character Palette in MacOS

how to type symbols and accents in windows macos high sierra emoji character viewer popup expanded currency

If the keyboard combinations on MacOS are too tricky, you also can use the character viewer to manually insert a special character or symbol. Given that you are running the latest versions of MacOS, the process is very easy and just involves a few simple steps.

Step 1: Click where you want to place a special character or other symbols to appear.

Step 2: Hold Control > Command > Spacebar to trigger the character viewer pop-up window.

Step 3: Use the search field at the top of the window, or press on the icon next to the search box to show more characters

So, there you have it, an in-depth guide to finding and inserting special characters and symbols using your keyboard. Now you’ll no longer need to go to visit a website or a reference file to copy and paste characters and symbols into your important documents and messages.

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