Languages, Literatures and Cultures

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Typing Accented Letters and other Foreign Characters

See below for instructions on how to type non-English characters while using the standard U.S. English keyboard layout on Mac OSX. If you would prefer to use a non-U.S. keyboard layout, click here.

The following tables show sample characters, along with the keyboard shortcuts used to type them using the standard U.S. keyboard layout. The same content is also available as a PDF.



Accented Letters

The symbol "V" below means any vowel. To use the keyboard shortcuts, hold down Option, press the second key, and release both before typing the desired vowel. Hold down the Shift key when typing the vowel if a capital letter is needed.


Accent
Example
Keyboard Shortcut
Notes

Acute

ó Ó

Option+E, V

Circumflex

ô Ô

Option+I, V

Grave

ò Ò

Option+`, V

Tilde

õ Õ

Option+N, V

Only with "n,N,o,O,a,A"

Umlaut

ö Ö

Option+U, V



Other Foreign Characters

To insert these characters, press hold down the Option key, and the Shift key if required, and then press the letter or symbol key indicated in the Keyboard Shortcut column. To produce an uppercase symbol, hold down the Shift key when typing the key combination.


Character
Name
Keyboard Shortcut

¡

Beginning exclamation mark

Option+1

¿

Beginning question mark

Shift+Option+?

Ç,ç

French C cedille

Option+C

Œ,œ

OE ligature

Option+Q

ß

German Sharp/Double S

Option+S

º, ª

Masculine Ordinal Number (Spanish, Italian, Portuguese),
Feminine Ordinal Number

Option+0
Option+9

Ø,ø

Nordic O slash

Option+O

Å,å

Nordic A ring

Option+A

Æ,æ

AE ligature

Option+'
(apostrophe key)

« »

Spanish/French quotation marks

Option+\



Currency Symbols

To insert these characters, hold down the Option key, and the Shift key if required, and then press the other key.


Character
Name
Keyboard Shortcut

¢

Cent sign

Option+4

£

British Pound

Option+3

¥

Japanese Yen

Option+Y

Euro Sign.

Shift+Option+2
May not be in older fonts.

ƒ

Dutch Florin

Option+F



Muhlenberg College - Languages, Literatures and Cultures