How to Put an Accent over a Letter in Microsoft Word?

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How to put an accent over a letter? If you don’t have a specialized keyboard, you have to do a bit of extra work to type letters with accent marks in Microsoft Word. Here are a few ideas to get it done.

If you type daily in a language other than English, you presumably have this all worked out already. Maybe you even use a specific keyboard that offers typing letters with accent notes easier. But if you’re typing essentially in English, there are still times you might require to type an emphasized letter.

After all, English uses several words acquired from other languages, including jalapeño, déjà vu, doppelgänger, and résumé, for instance. And while we usually type those words without rhythms in English, sometimes it’s nice to take the more conventional approach. In the states where you do, Microsoft Word provides a few easy ways to make it happen.

Accent Over A Letter On Word
Accent Over A Letter On Word

How to Put an Accent over a Letter? 

If you only have to enter accented characters hardly, it’s simple enough to pop open Word’s Symbol window and search for the letter you need.

Navigate to the “Insert” tab, and then press on the “Symbol” button.

The dropdown menu shows your most-recently-used symbols. If the symbol you’re after is there, click it. If not, click the “More Symbols” command instead.

The Symbol window that opens displays a vast number of characters to choose from—3,633 to be exact. Word does support by giving you filter by font and subset, though.

Use the “Font” dropdown menu to choose the font you’re using (or you can select the “Normal Text” entry). Following, the “Subset” dropdown allows you to jump to distinct subsets of letters. If you scroll into the available characters, you can see the Subset value difference. First, though, go forward and select “Latin-1 Supplement” from the “Subset” dropdown. That’s where you’ll possibly get the accented letter you’re after.

Click the letter you’re searching for, and then click the “Insert” button to insert it into your text. Note while you’re here that there are all kinds of other valuable symbols in this window. For example, in the image below, you can see the symbols for copyright (©) and registered trademark (®).

Pretty simple, right? But what if you need to insert some symbols often and don’t want to open up and search that Symbol window every time? Well, we have a couple of tricks to teach you.

How To Put An Accent Over A Letter Mac
How To Put An Accent Over A Letter Mac

Insert Accented Letters with Keyboard Shortcuts

Word has lots of excellent keyboard shortcuts, and shortcuts for accentuated letters are no exception. You may have noticed earlier back at the “More Symbols” screen that Word tells you what the shortcut key is for that character.

And the greatest part is that these shortcuts support a kind of formula, so you don’t surely have to memorize them all. Rather, you’ll use the Ctrl or Shift key along with the articulation key on the keyboard, followed by a quick press of the letter.

For instance, to notice the á character, you’d hold Ctrl+’ (apostrophe), release those keys, and then instantly press the A key. Note that if you want Á instead of á, you’d have to enable caps to lock before using the shortcut key since using the Shift key would change the shortcut.

How To Put An Accent Over A Letter On Word
How To Put An Accent Over A Letter On Word

Insert Accented Characters with ASCII Codes

And what use would we be if we didn’t reveal you the geekiest form of all? But, on the other side, if you’re going to be using a lot of accented letters—particularly the same characters over and over—it might be worth your time to read a few ASCII codes.

The American Standard Code for Information Interchange (ASCII) is an encoding system that provides a way to represent specific characters using the respective code. We won’t be going over the complete list of ASCII codes, as there are hundreds of characters, and it’s impossible to learn them all. So instead, we’ll go through the basics and give you a few short codes to quickly take care of those foreign words with diacritics.

To use this method, you’ll require a number pad (either as a component of your main keyboard or as an add-on). You’ll also have to make sure you’ve turned NumLock by touching the NumLock key at the top-left corner of the number pad. Most keyboards have a pointer light to let you recognize when NumLock is on.

To insert an ASCII code, all you have to do is hold down the Alt key while typing out a numeric code on the number pad of the Keyboard. For instance, the code for the lowercase character “a” with a grave accent is 133. So, hold down Alt, type 133, and then let go of the Alt key. As soon as you press, the letter appears—voilà!

It would be hard to learn a ton of ASCII codes for various accented letters, but it simplifies the whole method if you constantly use a few.

How To Put An Accent Over A Letter In Word
How To Put An Accent Over A Letter In Word

AutoCorrect Keyboard Characters to Special Characters

You can also use Word’s autocorrect feature to insert accented characters when you type certain letter combinations automatically. And, although this sounds like it would be the easiest method, it’s quirky and, in practice, not as helpful as it might sound.

Back at the Symbols window, select the character you want to set up an autocorrect function for. Then, click the “AutoCorrect” button at the bottom left.

In the “Replace” box, enter the words that you need to trigger the autocorrect replacement. When you’re done, click the “Add” button and then the “OK” button.

In this case, we’re telling Word that when we type the letter “a” followed by the accent grave (`) and then space, Word should automatically replace that with an “a” that has the accent grave above it.

When you touch-type a word, you have to enter the accented letter first. In other words, if you want to type “Voilà,” you’d first need to type a+’ then go back and type the “Viol” behind it. Otherwise, you’ll end up with Viola’—because Word won’t trigger the autocorrect when the trigger letters are part of a more powerful word. And, as you can imagine, this makes it annoying if you have multiple accented characters in a single word.

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