Diacritics

Typing Common Diacritics

This page provides information on adding diacritics and producing non-standard characters using the modern Latin alphabet in MacOS and Windows.

MacOS

On a MacOS computer, you can use the key combinations listed below to type accented characters and other symbols.  This input method works at the system level, and thus in all applications that take text input.  No keyboard installation is necessary.

Examples:

To type a lower case letter with an acute accent on it (á é í ó ú):
Press the alt/option key and an e together, release the keys, then press aei o or u.

To type a upper case letter with an acute accent on it (Á É Í Ó Ú):
Press the alt/option key and an e together, release the keys, then press the shift key and aei o or u.

  Key combination   Key combination   Key combination   Key combination
á alt-e a Á alt-e shift-a à alt-` a À alt-` shift-a
é alt-e e É alt-e shift-e è alt-` e È alt-` shift-e
í alt-e i Í alt-e shift-i ì alt-` i Ì alt-` shift-i
ó alt-e o Ó alt-e shift-o ò alt-` o Ò alt-` shift-o
ú alt-e u Ú alt-e shift-u ù alt-` u Ù alt-` shift-u
ä alt-u a Ä alt-u shift-a â alt-i a  alt-i shift-a
ë alt-u e Ë alt-u shift-e ê alt-i e Ê alt-i shift-e
ï alt-u i Ï alt-u shift-i î alt-i i Î alt-i shift-i
ö alt-u o Ö alt-u shift-o ô alt-i o Ô alt-i shift-o
ü alt-u u Ü alt-u shift-u û alt-i u Û alt-i shift-u
ÿ alt-u y Ÿ alt-u shift-y å alt-a Å alt-shift-a
ã alt-n a à alt-n shift-a ø alt-o Ø alt-shift-o
ñ alt-n n Ñ alt-n shift-n ç alt-c Ç alt-shift-c
õ alt-n o Õ alt-n shift-o ¿ alt-shift-/ ¡ alt-1
ß alt-s            

Windows: 

To type Latin characters with common diacritics in Windows, we recommend using the US International keyboard layout.  You can install it via the Start Menu > Settings > Time & Language > Region & language in Windows 10.  Choose the language to which you wish to add a keyboard by clicking on it (in this case English (United States)), and then Options.  Click “Add a keyboard” and choose US (International) from the menu displayed.

Once the US International keyboard has been installed, you can select it at any time by pressing the Windows key + space bar simultaneously.  All keyboards and input methods activated on your computer will be displayed, and you can toggle through them.

US International uses a “dead key” system to produce characters with diacritics.  In practice, this means that hitting the apostrophe (‘), quotation mark (“), accent grave (`), tilde (~), and caret (^) keys a single time will not produce that glyph.  Instead the combination of these keystrokes plus an appropriate letter will create a character with the desired accent mark or other diacritic.  If you wish to insert one of the glyphs listed above, (apostrophe, quotation mark, accent grave, tilde, or caret), press the relevant key, then the space bar.

Here’s a helpful chart (NB: the " +" symbol indicates a key combination.  So, "á" is created by pressing ', followed by a.  Don't type the +.):

 

Key combination

 

Key combination

 

Key combination

 

Key combination

á

‘+a

Á

‘+A

à

`+a

À

`+A

é

‘+e

É

‘+ E

è

`+e

È

`+E

í

‘+i

Í

‘+I

ì

`+i

Ì

`+ I

ó

‘+o

Ó

‘+O

ò

`+o

Ò

`+O

ú

‘+u

Ú

‘+U

ù

`+u

Ù

`+U

ä

“+a

Ä

“+A

â

^+a

Â

^+A

ë

“+e

Ë

“+E

ê

^+e

Ê

^+E

ï

“+i

Ï

“+I

î

^+i

Î

^+I

ö

“+o

Ö

“+O

ô

^+o

Ô

^+O

ü

“+u

Ü

“+U

û

^+u

Û

^+U

ÿ

“+y

Ÿ

“+Y

å

Right alt+w

Å

Right alt+W

ã

~+a

Ã

~+A

ø

Right alt + l

Ø

Right alt + L

ñ

~+n

Ñ

~+N

ç

‘+c

Ç

‘+C

õ

~+o

Õ

~+O

¿

Right alt+/

¡

Right alt+1

ß

Right alt+s

 « or »

Right alt+[  or  ]

æ

Right alt+z

Æ

Right alt+Z

þ

Right alt+t

Þ

Right alt+T

ð

Right alt+d

Ð

Right alt+D

Windows with numeric keypad:

If you have a full keyboard with a number pad, you can also use the code combinations below to produce Latin characters with diacritics.   Press the alt key and the numeric code on the number pad together.  

  Numeric code   Numeric code   Numeric code   Numeric code
á alt-0225 Á alt-0193 à alt-0224 À alt-0192
é alt-0233 É alt-0201 è alt-0232 È alt-0200
í alt-0237 Í alt-0205 ì alt-0236 Ì alt-0204
ó alt-0243 Ó alt-0211 ò alt-0242 Ò alt-0210
ú alt-0250 Ú alt-0218 ù alt-0249 Ù alt-0217
ä alt-0228 Ä alt-0196 â alt-0226 Â alt-0194
ë alt-0235 Ë alt-0203 ê alt-0234 Ê alt-0202
ï alt-0239 Ï alt-0207 î alt-0238 Î alt-0206
ö alt-0246 Ö alt-0214 ô alt-0244 Ô alt-0212
ü alt-0252 Ü alt-0220 û alt-0251 Û alt-0219
ÿ alt-0255 Ÿ alt-0159 å alt-0229 Å alt-0197
ã alt-0227 Ã alt-0195 ø alt-0248 Ø alt-0216
ñ alt-0241 Ñ alt-0209 ç alt-0231 Ç alt-0199
õ alt-0245 Õ alt-0213 ¿ alt-0191 ¡ alt-0161
ß alt-0223            

For other extended Latin characters, symbols, and other glyphs, consider using Character Map in Windows (Start > Accessories > Character Map) or Keyboard Viewer in MacOS.

Do you have questions about keyboard layouts and input methods for languages taught at Harvard?  Drop us a line at language@fas.harvard.edu.