How to Type Spanish Accents on Every Device

All things considered, Spanish is fairly easy to learn.

But those strange accent marks might be making you scratch your head.

The good news is that all of those accent marks, despite being so essential, are very easy to understand and simple to use.

Let’s take a moment to examine what Spanish accent marks are and learn how to type them.


What Are the Spanish Accents?

There are three categories of Spanish accents.

Acute Accents: á, é, í, óú

All vowels have the ability in Spanish to become accented—á, é, í, ó and ú. Aren’t they fancy?

Some examples include:

papá (dad), cuánto (how much), estábamos (we were)

bebé (baby), él (he), inglés (English)

sí (yes)

cómo (how), donó (he/she/you donated), canción (song)

tú (you)

The Diaeresis: ü

The ü or u with diaeresis—which is the two dots above the u—is rare but does make an appearance. It sounds similar to the English “w” when it’s used in a word.

Examples include:

bilingüe (bilingual)

el agüero (the omen)

la lengüeta (the tongue)

The Tilde: ñ

Next, we have the n that becomes ñ. The n with a tilde over it became part of the Spanish written alphabet in the 12th century. Even today, it’s one of the most distinctive features of written Spanish!

Words containing the ñ have the characteristic of one letter sounding like two, as the ñ sounds like the English pronunciation of “ny.”

Examples of the tilde include:

el año (the year)

la mañana (the morning)

el baño (the bathroom)

How to Type Spanish Accents Using Alt Codes

The cryptic codes table is a bit clunky but it gets the job done.

Use the numeric keyboard side of your keyboard to make the magic happen.

For Windows

Press the ALT key + the corresponding number to get the individual accented letters:

á — Alt + 0225

é — Alt + 0233

í — Alt + 0237

ó — Alt + 0243

ú — Alt + 0250

ü — Alt + 0252

ñ — Alt + 0241

For Mac

First option: You can press and hold any letter to see the letter with accent options. 

Press the Option key + the corresponding symbol and/or letter to get the individual accented letters:

á — Option + `, then a

é — Option + `, then e

í — Option + `, then i

ó — Option + `, then o

ú — Option + `, then u

ü — Option + u, then u

ñ — Option + n, then n

How to Use an International Keyboard for Spanish Accents

If you’re planning to write in Spanish a lot, it’s worth taking the time to set up an international keyboard. Configuring your regular keyboard to the international keyboard is a breeze.

For Windows

1. Go to the control panel.

2. Hit “Change Input Method” and click on the “Languages” option.

3. Select “United States International” as your default language.

4. Click OK and you’re all set!

The key to the right of the space bar on your keyboard is the right Alt key. When you want to type a Spanish accented letter, hold down the right Alt key as you type the vowel.

For example, holding down the right Alt key and pressing the appropriate letter produces the accented version (eg. right Alt key + u = ú).

But to type ü, you need to press the right Alt key + y.

For Mac

If you use a Mac, there’s a super video tutorial to walk you through the process.

1. Go to the Menu > System Preference > Language and Region > Keyboard Preferences > Spanish.

2. Click on “Add” and you should be ready to type!

How to Type Spanish Accents Using TypeIttype-spanish-accents

It’s possible to take a shortcut to get Spanish accents without a Spanish keyboard and without memorizing a code. Use TypeIt to type short Spanish passages, then cut and paste what you’ve written into your document, file or letter.

The text field at this resource lets you write as usual and simply tap appropriate Spanish-accented letters as you need them. They appear in whatever you’re writing instantly—it doesn’t get much easier than this!

How to Add a Spanish Keyboard to Your Phone

Most of us don’t leave home without our phones. And if you’re a Spanish language learner, you know that your phone is a valuable resource. It’s great for vocabulary building with translation apps and powering up writing practice with chat and text conversations.

For Android Devices

If you’re an Android user it’s just as easy to pull up a Spanish keyboard on your phone.

1. Go to Settings > Languages.

2. Depending on your device, you may need to disable the “use system languages” switch.

4. Hit the switch beside Spanish to add it then return to the home screen.

5. Swipe to the side of the space key to access the Spanish keyboard.

6. Swipe the other way to go back to English.

For iOS Devices

Fortunately, accessing a foreign language keyboard on your iPhone isn’t difficult!

1. Go to Settings > General > Keyboard.

2. Tap on “Keyboards.”

3. Add the Spanish keyboard.

5. Tap the globe icon to see the list of keyboards you’ve added to your phone.

Every accent mark (punctuation points, too) will appear on the keyboard.


There are many ways to practice your different Spanish accents. For example, you can first type in Spanish and then read what’s on the screen out loud.

Reading along to Spanish transcripts while listening to the language can also be really helpful.

Having visual, audio and textual cues will give you a greater chance of remembering which words have accent marks. And there are many language learning programs that offer subtitled videos, or transcripts with their podcasts and audio content.

FluentU, for example, has a library of authentic Spanish clips with interactive subtitles so that you can spot the accents, as well as learn vocabulary in context. After watching videos, you can practice typing and speaking words with personalized quizzes.

Listen and practice correct pronunciation—so you’ll be speaking and typing like a true Spaniard in no time!

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