How to type symbols and letters with accent marks

how to type symbols and letters with accent marks in microsoft windows mac os x symbol header

Ever wondered how to type that Trademark ™ symbol? What about characters from other languages, like Latin?

You may not know it, but there’s a whole slew of symbols and characters that you can type out just by using the keyboard in front of you. No special software is required.

Every character and alphabet incorporates Unicode, a universal character set that can be expressed in most word processors. Unicode has tons of uses for programming purposes, but it’s essentially a giant list of characters. It allows you to type things like the Cyrillic alphabet using your standard keyboard, for example. If you’re interested in exploring Unicode, check out the Unicode character table.

Here’s our guide on how to type out symbols and accented letters, whether you use Windows or Mac OS X. Also, check out our picks for the best Windows keyboard shortcuts, the best Mac OS X keyboard shortcuts, and the best free Microsoft Office alternatives. But first, a note.

Skip ahead to how to type symbols and letter in Mac OS X

Important note: 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. Using the number keys directly located below the row of F-keys will not work, which we discovered during independent testing.

If you have a keyboard without a number pad, you can use the On Screen Keyboard in Windows to perform these tasks. To find the “OSK” in Windows 8, roll your cursor over to the upper right corner of the screen to activate the Charms menu. Then, click “Search,” and enter “OSK.” Then, click “On-Screen Keyboard” when it appears in the search results.

If you’re using Windows 7, click the Start menu and enter “OSK” into the search field at the bottom of the menu. Then, click “On-Screen Keyboard” to open it when it appears. 

The OSK provides you with a virtual keyboard and number pad. If you don’t see  the number pad when OSK opens, click on “options” (this is located to the right of the right Alt key), then check the box labeled, “turn on numeric key pad.”

How to type symbols in Windows

Your Windows PC has many alt-key shortcuts programmed into it that are pretty easy to type out. These alt-key shortcuts will produce symbols when typed into your word processor, regardless of whether you use Microsoft Word, Google Docs, and more.

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.

 Alt Keys on PC Keyboard

Step 2: Then, scan the lists below for the symbol you want to type out.




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

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


Step 3: Make sure the cursor is located in the place where you want to insert the symbol of your choice. Then, simply 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.

Typing symbols using the Character Map (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: Roll your cursor over the right side of the screen to activate the Windows 8 search menu. Click “Search,” then enter “character map” into your desktop search field. Then, click it to open the application. If you’re using Windows 7, click the Start menu and enter “character map” into the search field at the bottom of the resulting menu. Then, click it to open the app when it appears in the search results.


Character map


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.”


Character Map Complete


Step 3 (optional): To further organize symbols by language, check the box directly to the left of “Advanced view” in the bottom-left corner of the window. Afterward, select your desired language from the drop-down menu next to “Group by,” and select your desired symbol.


Character Map Group By Type 

Step 4: Click Copy, then paste them in their respective places within in your document.


Next Page: How to type symbols in Mac OS X

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