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How do I type an accented letter, or an umlaut, etc?

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Which keyboard, which language, which OS Version? – Debilski Feb 18 '10 at 20:36
up vote 4 down vote accepted

If you go to the International pane of System Preferences and turn on the Input menu (I’m not at my Mac now, so I can’t give you exact details), there will also be an option to show the Keyboard Viewer in the Input menu. Once you’ve done that, you should see a little flag icon in your menubar, from which you can turn on the Keyboard Viewer.

Once the keyboard viewer is up, you can hold down option and/or shift to see what the different option combos will result in. It also has some kind of visual indicator (I think the key cap is outlined) for the “dead keys”, i.e. accents that you follow with the letter that goes below them.

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A couple examples

Opt+E then e will show é
Opt+U then u will show ü
Opt+I then i will show î
Opt+` then a will show à
Opt+N then n will show ñ
Opt+C will show ç
Opt+O will show ø
Opt+1 will show ¡
Opt+Shift+? will show ¿

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  • Hold option and hit e then type your letter for an accented letter.
  • Hold option and hit u then type your letter for a letter with an umlaut.

I think there are others but I'm too lazy to look them up.

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option c, option n, option grave, option i – dubiousjim Feb 18 '10 at 20:39
I get a Euro sign on typing option+e. And if I got an accented letter, which accent would it have? On the other hand: It doesn’t hurt (and it’s quite fun if you’re bored) trying out all combinations, if you really want to know. – Debilski Feb 18 '10 at 20:40
More details: – Doug Harris Feb 18 '10 at 20:42
@DougHarris The link is broken. – Simon Sep 7 '13 at 17:20
Link from… – Doug Harris Sep 9 '13 at 14:28

In OSX Lion and beyond, you can also type accented letters by pressing and holding the base character that you'd like to accent and then choosing your preferred accented variant from the resulting pop-up list.

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