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Typing French Accents in Windows

Windows: International Keyboard

For U.S. English keyboard users, the international keyboard (which is not a physical keyboard, but rather a simple Control Panel setting) is the easiest and most convenient method for typing French accents because it maintains the QWERTY layout, with just a few changes and additions:

  • To type accent grave (à, è, etc), type ` (to the left of 1) then the vowel.
  • Accent aigu (é), type ‘ (single quote) then e.
  • Cédille (ç), type ‘ then c.
  • Circonflexe (ê), type ^ (shift + 6) then e.
  • Tréma (ö), type ” (shift + ‘) then o.
  • To type French quotation marks « » use ctrl + alt + [ and ], respectively.
Use Alt codes to type accented characters (does not work on laptop)
  1. Turn on the Num Lock key on your keyboard
  2. When starting to type, press and hold the Alt key, then type any combination of numbers from your number pad (located on the right side of your keyboard)
  3. Follow the image below to check the Windows Alt Codes for Accented Vowels
  4. After you select the accented character that you want to type, release the Alt key
  5. Repeat the process for any accented character that you want to use

Typing French Accents on an Apple

  1. In an app on your Mac, press and hold a key on the keyboard — for example, a — to display the accent menu. The menu isn’t shown if a key doesn’t have any possible accent marks.
  2. Select a character in the menu — for example, à .You can also press the number key shown for the character, or use the arrow keys to move to the character, then press the Space bar.
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