How to Make Accented Letters on a Mac

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In many languages, accents are used to distinguish between different words and meanings. In the written forms of these languages, accents are used to distinguish different words that, without the use of accents, would be spelled the same. There is a large variety of accents, but the most common, such as the acute, grave, and circumflex marks, are found across multiple languages. Computers running Mac OS X have the ability to use key combinations, called keyboard shortcuts, to add accents over certain letters in any text editing application.

Things You'll Need

  • Mac OSX
  • To make an acute accent mark, as in "ó," press the "Option" and "E" keys at the same time, followed by the vowel you want to accent. This accent can be used in words like "qué," which means "what" in Spanish.

  • To make a circumflex accent mark, as in "ô," press the "Option" and "I" keys at the same time, followed by the vowel you want to accent. This accent can be used in words like "côte," which means "coast" in French.

  • To make a grave accent mark, as in "ò," press the "Option" and "`" (grave) keys at the same time, followed by the vowel you want to accent. This accent can be used in words like "mà," which means "hand" in Catalan.

  • To make a tilde mark, as in "õ," press the "Option" and "N" keys at the same time, followed by the letter you want to accent. The tilde mark can only be used with the N, O, and A letters. This mark can be used in words like "niño," which means "child" in Spanish.

  • To add an umlaut to a letter, as in "ö," press the "Option" and "U" keys at the same time, followed by the vowel you want to accent. This accent can be used in words like "älter," which means "elder" in German.

Tips & Warnings

  • Accent marks are only used on vowels, except for the tilde mark, which only works with the letters A, N, and O. Mac OSX will not let you accent letters that are not accented in any language.

References

  • Photo Credit Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images
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