Whether you're trying to describe your favorite local café or typing answers to questions on your Spanish homework, occasionally you need to use the accent feature on your keyboard. If you use Microsoft Word for that work, you can easily find a list of accent shortcuts, but for the people using Google Docs instead of Word, those tricks won't work.
There are various ways you can input accented letters in Google Docs, including keystroke combinations and Google Input Tools. You can also change the language if you plan to type in another language for the duration of the document.
Accent Marks in Google Docs
One of the quickest ways to type accented letters is to use keyboard shortcuts. If you have a specific accent you use often, you may be able to memorize the keyboard shortcut. This only works with a select group of accents, though. For Windows users, you need to use the number pad on your keyboard to input the numbers rather than the numbers at the top of the keyboard.
If you don't have a keypad on your keyboard, don't despair. You should be able to turn on Num Lock and use the virtual number pad. Here are the Windows keystroke combinations for accented letters:
- Accented a is Alt+0225
- Accented i is Alt+0237
- Accented u is Alt+0250
- Umlaut u is Alt+0252
- Accented e is Alt+0233
- Accented o is Alt+0243
- Spanish n is Alt+0241
- Upside-down question mark is Alt+ 0191
The keystroke combinations for Google Docs using a Mac are:
- Option + e followed by a vowel gives you an accent over the vowel. To type café, you type caf and then press Option and e at the same time. Release the keys and type the letter e.
- Option + n + n gives you a Spanish n. For the word Nuñez, you type Nu and then press Option and the letter n at the same time. Release the keys and type the letter n again.
- Option + u + u puts an umlaut over the letter "u." For the word für, you type f and then press Option and the letter u at the same time. Release the keys and type the letter u again.
Google Input Tools Accent Marks
If typing accented letters in Google Docs is something you anticipate doing frequently, Google Input Tools is your best option. This free tool is available in the Google Chrome Web Store. Install it to your web browser with one click. Once it is installed, you choose your preferred language.
Even with Google Input Tools installed, you still need to use keyboard shortcuts to get the desired results. The options are simplified, though, making it more likely you'll remember them from one day to the next. If you want to type the Spanish n, for example, you only need to tap the semicolon key, while the upside-down question mark that's so essential to Spanish interrogatory questions involves holding down the Shift key while typing the equal sign.
Change Your Language
If your need to type with accent marks in Google Docs goes beyond once or twice in a document, it may be best to change the language. You do this in Google Docs by going to File and Language and then selecting the language you prefer. The long list of choices includes Spanish, French, German and Portuguese. You can also select Tools and Translate Document to translate a document from one language to another quickly.
After you change the language, you'll be able to type more than accent marks in Google Docs. If the language you choose is non-Latin, you'll see an input tools menu in the toolbar. Here you can input non-Latin characters. You can also pull up the input tools menu by entering Control + Alt + Shift + k on your PC or Command + Option + Shift + k on a Mac.