How to Make Spanish Accents on a Laptop

By Ariel Hainline

The Spanish language uses accents to indicate syllable emphasis and pronunciation. It is important to use these accents when writing in Spanish to correctly convey meaning. The three core accents in Spanish are the acute accent, used with á, é, í, ó and ú, the dieresis used with ü, and the tilde used with ñ. There are also upside down exclamation marks, ¡, and question marks, ¿, used at the beginning of exclamations or questions, respectively. For both Windows and Mac laptops, there are keyboard shortcuts and settings to create each accent and give your writing in Spanish clarity.

Windows Keyboard Shortcuts

Step 1

Press Ctrl plus ', then the letter you wish to appear under the acute accent. Press Ctrl plus ' (a single quote) plus "e" to insert "é," for example. There are also codes you can enter that yield the letters with the accent together, which require activating the number pad and entering the numbers on it. For "á," press Alt plus 160 or Alt plus 0225. For "é," press Alt plus 130 or Alt plus 0233. For "í," press Alt plus 161 or Alt plus 0237. For "ó," press Alt plus 162 or Alt plus 0243. For "ú," press Alt plus 163 or Alt plus 0250.

Step 2

Press Ctrl plus Shift plus : + u for the dieresis "ü." You can also enter the code Alt plus 129 or Alt plus 0252.

Step 3

Press Ctrl plus Shift plus ~ plus n for the tilde "ñ." You can also enter the code Alt plus 164 or Alt plus 0241.

Step 4

Press Alt plus Ctrl plus Shift plus !, Alt plus 173 or Alt plus 0161 to create the upside down exclamation mark, ¡.Press Alt plus Ctrl plus Shift plus ?, Alt plus 168 or Alt plus 191 to create the upside down question mark, ¿.

Mac Keyboard Shortcuts

Step 1

Press the Option key plus e followed by the letter you want to apply the acute accent to. For á, press Option plus e, then a. For é, press Option plus e, then e. For í, press Option plus e, then i. For ó, press Option plus e, then o. For ú, press Option plus e, then u.

Step 2

Press Option plus u for the dieresis. For ü, press Option plus u, then u.

Step 3

Press Option plus n for the tilde. For ñ, press Option plus n, then n.

Step 4

Add the upside-down exclamation point by pressing Option plus 1. Press Option plus Shift plus ? to insert an upside-down question mark.

The United States-International Keyboard Setting in Windows

Step 1

Press "Start" and open the Control Panel.

Step 2

Click on "Regional and Languages." If this tab does not appear, click "Category" then "Clock, Language, and Region." Click the "Keyboards and Languages" tab.

Step 3

Click "Change Keyboards" in the resulting window. A new window will open. Click Add.

Step 4

Choose the United States International keyboard and click "OK."

Windows United States International Keyboard Shortcuts

Step 1

Press ' plus the letter over which you want to place an acute accent. For example, ' plus a will yield á.

Step 2

Press " plus u for the dieresis ü.

Step 3

Press ~ plus n for the tilde ñ.

Step 4

Add upside-down punctuation by pressing Alt plus Shift plus 1 for ¡ or Alt plus Shift plus ? for ¿.