Spanish Marks Blog

The latest news and blog posts from Spanish Marks

How to write Spanish characters on your keyboard

How to write Spanish characters on your keyboard

You can rarely get away with writing a Spanish sentence without including a special character or accent! If you have an English keyboard it can be tiring to copy and paste characters from the internet. That’s why today’s blog will teach you how to set up your keyboard to avoid this problem!

 

MAC users


For all you MAC users out there, it’s pretty simple to get accents:

    1. Hold down the Alt key (or 'Option' key with some MACs)

 

    1. Press the letter e (whilst you’re still holding down on the Alt key)

 

    1. Release both keys and now type the letter you want your accent on, e.g. if you now type the character a, it will appear as á



Exceptions:


For ñ, hold down the Alt key while you type n; release and type n again.

For ü,hold down the Alt key while pressing u; release and type u again.

For inverted punctuation, do:

¡ = Alt + !

¿ = Alt + shift + ?

 

Windows users


Although there are codes for Windows users (as seen below), these can be time-consuming and it could be much easier to change your keyboard to US-international. This is very simple to do and useful since the US-international keyboard works for many languages. Remember, you can always re-configure your keyboard back to an English one!

Windows ALT codes for Spanish:


 

Vowel ALT Code
á ALT+0225
é ALT+0233
í ALT+0237
ó ALT+0243
ú ALT+0250
ñ ALT+0241
ü ALT+0252


 

Changing your keyboard to US-international – the easier option

 

Window 95-98 and beyond


1)      Shut your system down and re-start.

2)      Go to the Control Panel. (Start - Settings - Control Panel)

3)      Choose the "Keyboard" icon.

4)      Click on the "Language" tab.

5)      Click on the "Properties" button.

6)      Select "United States - International"

7)      Click on the OK button

8)      You may be prompted to insert your Windows CD-ROM.

9)      Then re-start your system.

10)   Read the instructions below on "Creating international characters on the U.S. – International keyboard" for what to do next.

Windows XP


1)      Shut your system down and re-start.

2)      Go to the Control Panel. (Start - Settings - Control Panel)

3)      Click Regional and Language Options

4)      On the Languages tab, click Details

5)      Click Settings

6)      Select the Add button

7)      In the Keyboard layout/IME list, select United States-International

8)      Click on the OK button

9)      Read the instructions below on "Creating international characters on the U.S. – International keyboard" for what to do next.

It’s simple to switch between keyboards because you will now have a keyboard icon on the taskbar. To switch between keyboard layouts click the keyboard icon on the task bar and choose which layout you want to use.

Windows 7 or Windows Vista


1)      Start-->Control Panel-->Clock, Language, Region-->Change Keyboards

2)      Click Change Keyboards

3)      Click the Add button

4)      Expand the Keyboard list

5)      Select United States-International

6)      Click on the OK button

7)      In the Default input language list, click Language name - United States-International and then click OK

8)      In the Regional and Language Options dialog box, click OK.

9)      Read the instructions below on "Creating international characters on the U.S. – International keyboard" for what to do next.

As with Windows XP users, you will now have a keyboard icon on the taskbar. Simply switch between keyboards by clicking the keyboard icon on the task bar and choose which layout you want to use.

Creating international characters on the U.S. – International keyboard:


Press this key                Then press...                 Resulting in...

‘ (apostrophe key)            a,c,e,i,o,u                            á, é, í, ó, ú

~                                              n                                              ñ

“ (quotation mark)           u                                             ü

ALT (hold it down)          !                                               ¡

ALT (hold it down)          ?                                              ¿

 

 

We hope you've found this blog useful and if you really want to become a Spanish pro, sign up to our free newsletter for more free tips and grammar exercises!

How to revise for Spanish A-Level