Acute accents – or, if you’re being picky, diacritical marks – are a huge part of most Latin-based languages (Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and, of course, French). In fact, such is their influence that they’re even widely used in English – as anyone who has quaffed an apéritif, cried touché, made a papier-mâché sculpture or got caught in a Tube mêlée will attest.
However, typing the little blighters can be a pain if you don’t have a Francophone keyboard lying around. Luckily, we’ve put together a handy list of shortcuts to give your communiqué a pinch of élan (okay, I’ll stop now).
Important note: an accent acute refers solely to a line going up to the right (for example, á), while a grave accent (è, Alt+0232) goes the other way. Of course, you all remember that from GCSE/O level French, though…
How to type an acute accent: Windows PC
To broaden the scope of your British keyboard, you’ll have to remember a selection of keyboard shortcuts. To begin, switch on Num Lock and hold down the Alt key as you tap one of the following codes into your number pad…
é = Alt+0233
á = Alt+0225
í = Alt+0237
ó = Alt+0243
ú = Alt+0250
ý = Alt+0253
And here are the capitalised versions:
É = Alt+0201
Á = Alt+0193
Í = Alt+0205
Ó = Alt+0211
Ú = Alt+0218
Ý = Alt+0221
If your keyboard doesn’t have a number pad, the process is rather more laborious: go to Start | All Programs | Accessories | System Tools | Character Map (or type “character map” into the search box) and copy the relevant accent.
How to type an acute accent: Mac
Mac users, prepare to feel smug: typing accent acutes on Apple devices is as easy as the proverbial gateaux. Simply hold down a key to bring up a list of possible variations.
How to type an acute accent: Android and iOS
As above, typing an acute accent into your smartphone is enfant’s play: just hold down one of the keys on the virtual keyboard to bring up a wide range of options.
READ NEXT: What does the AltGr key actually do?
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