How to Type German Umlauts

By Sean Mullin

In German, an umlaut is a diacritical mark added to the vowels a, o and u. It is comprised of s shape is two dots directly above the vowel. When these vowels have an umlaut above them, their pronunciation distinctly changes. Most American keyboards do not have a key designed for adding umlauts to vowels, but they do have keystroke shortcuts that allow users to add them. The process is similar on both PCs and Macs, but the instructions for PC users are more complicated.

Step 1

If you are using a Mac, press the "option" and "u" keys at the same time. Release both keys and then type the vowel that will receive the umlaut. The letter and its umlaut will appear.

Step 2

If you are using a PC with word processing software, hold down the "control" and "shift" keys. Press the semicolon button while continuing to hold them down. Release all three keys and then type the vowel that will receive the umlaut. The letter and its umlaut will appear.

Step 3

If you are not using word processing software, press and hold the "alt" key and then type the ASCII code that corresponds to your desired vowel-umlaut combination (see Resources). This method works for all PC applications.