Typing and Printing Accent Marks for Spanish Words

Almost all computer applications support accent marks for Spanish words. Here are some guidelines for typing and inserting accent marks when you type text in Spanish.

Note: For some applications, such as HTML (for Websites and Web Presentations), you may need to use additional character sets and special page (Doc Type and Content Type) codes.

Print copies of these Accent Codes and place these next to the computers that you use when writing in Spanish.

You will apply these codes from memory after you use them for a short time.

Types of Accent-Enabled Computer Applications

Text ALT Codes for Spanish Characters

You can create text codes for Spanish using the ALT plus Numeric Keypad codes.

These codes are used for text, E-mail messages, Blogs, discussion-forum postings, Wikis, Websites and other applications that use text.

The ALT plus Numeric Keypad shortcuts add the correct accent marks, and make what you write look competent, educated and professional.

To create the specific letters, you:

  1. Ensure that the NUM Lock key is on
  2. Hold down the ALT Key (either side)
  3. Type the four (4) character code
  4. Each code starts with a 0 (zero)
  5. Release the ALT key

Note: Some letters allow you to skip the zero, others require the zero.

The codes that you use for different computer applications may seem similar. However, you mut pay attention to the "minor differences" because those differences are crucial for typing Spanish content that displays correctly.

Note: copying and pasting text from one application into another seldom proves effective, and you will need to edit such documents by checking every letter and punctuation mark.

Text Keypad Codes

Here are the codes to use for Text Editors. Notice that you can type the three-number code for most of these characters except the Capital Leters.

Capital
Vowels
Vowel ALT Code
Á ALT+0193
É ALT+0201
Í ALT+0205
Ó ALT+0211
Ú ALT+0218
Ñ ALT+0209
Ü ALT+0220
Lower Case
Vowels
Vowel ALT Code
á ALT+225
é ALT+233
í ALT+237
ó ALT+243
ú ALT+250
ñ ALT+241
ü ALT+252
Other
Symbols
Symbol ALT Code
¿ ALT+191
¡ ALT+161
º ALT+186 (Masculine Ordinal)
ª ALT+170 (Feminine Ordinal)
« ALT+171 (Left Angle Quote)
» ALT+187 (Right Angle Quote)
ALT+128

Windows ALT Codes

Windows uses a combinations of the ALT Key plus a Numeric Code (that is entered on the Numeric Keypad with the NUM Lock on) to create an accented letter or punctuation mark.

Hold down the ALT Key as you type the Numeric Code, then release the ALT Key.

Windows ALT Codes for Spanish Words

Capital
Vowels
Vowel ALT Code
Á ALT+0193
É ALT+0201
Í ALT+0205
Ó ALT+0211
Ú ALT+0218
Ñ ALT+0209
Ü ALT+0220
Lower Case
Vowels
Vowel ALT Code
á ALT+0225
é ALT+0233
í ALT+0237
ó ALT+0243
ú ALT+0250
ñ ALT+0241
ü ALT+0252
Other
Symbols
Symbol ALT Code
¿ ALT+0191
¡ ALT+0161
º ALT+0186 (Masculine Ordinal)
ª ALT+0170 (Feminine Ordinal)
« ALT+0171 (Left Angle Quote)
» ALT+0187 (Right Angle Quote)
ALT+0128

Keyboard Codes for Windows™ Applications

Activate the International Keyboard to use these codes.

Keyboard Codes for Windows™ Applications: Spanish Accents and Characters
Character Description
Acute Accent

('+V) - Type apostrophe (single quote), then the vowel.

Ñ, ñ

Type SHIFT+~, then either lowercase n or capital N.

Ü, ü

("+V) - Type apostrophe (singe quote), then lowercase or capital U.

¿

RightAlt+? (You must use the ALT key on the Right)

¡

RightAlt+1

«, »

RightAlt+[
RightAlt+]

Control+RightAlt+5

Windows Spanish Keyboard

Follow the instructions for Activating Keyboard Locales to activate or switch Microsoft keyboards if you wish to simulate a non-U.S. keyboard, .

Apple Accent Codes

Apple Option Codes for Spanish
Character Description
Acute Accent

Type Option+E, then the vowel. For instance, to type á hold down Option+E, then type lowercase A. To type Á, hold down Option+E, then type capital A.

Ñ, ñ

Type Option+N, then either a capital N for Ñ or a lowercase n for ñ

Ü, ü

Type Option+U, then either a capital U for Ü or a lowercase u for ü

¿

Shift+Option+?    

¡

Option+1

º, ª

Option+0 (Masculine Ordinal Number Marker)
Option+9 (Feminine Ordinal Number Marker)

«, »

Option+\  
Shift+Option+\ (Double Angle Quotes)

Shift+Option+2 (may not work for older System 9 fonts)

HTML Accent Codes

Spanish Encoding and Language Tags

These are the codes which allow browsers and screen readers to process data as the appropriate language. All letters in codes are lower case.

HTML Special Character Codes

Use these codes to input accented letters in HTML documents. For instance, if you want to type señor, you would type…

s e ñ o r

The numbers in parentheses are the assigned for Unicode characters. For example, ñ refers to the number 241. So, you can also type the word, "señor" as…

s e ñ o r

HTML Codes for Spanish characters

Capital Vowels
Capital
Vowel
Accent or
Punctuation
Á Á (193)
É É (201)
Í Í (205)
Ó Ó (211)
Ú Ú (218)
Ñ Ñ (209)
Ü Ü (220)
Lower Case Vowels
Lower Case
Vowel
Accent or
Punctuation
á á (225)
é é (233)
í í(237)
ó ó (243)
ú ú (250)
ñ ñ (241)
ü ü (252)
Other Punctuation
Symbol

Symbol
Code
¿ ¿ (191)
¡ ¡ (161)
º º (186)
ª ª (170)
« « (171)
» » (187)
€

Note: Older browsers may not the support single angle codes, i.e., ‹ / › for and that are used in Europe.

Using Encoding and Language Codes

Computers produce text by attaching matching electronic data with text characters. This is called, "encoding."

You need to ensure that the correct encoding is specified (in the document header), otherwise the browser defaults to U.S. settings and fails display the special characters correctly.

To specify the correct encoding system, insert a "meta-tag" at the top of your HTML document.

Replace ??? with one of the encoding codes. If you are not sure, specify utf-8.

Encoding Template

The encoding will look something like this…

<head>
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=??? ">
...
<head>

Unicode

<head>
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8 ">
...
<head>

XHTML

The final close slash must be included after the final quote mark in the encoding header tag if you are using XHTML

Declare Unicode in XHTML

<head>
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8" />
...
<head>

No Encoding

If you do not specify an encoding system, then each browser reverts to a default setting. In the U.S., this is "Latin-1."

When the browser builds a document that contains Spanish accents or Spanish punctuation, these characters will display incorrectly; i.e., the Unicode characters will be displayed as some other characters.