How to Type Spanish Accents, French Accents, and Upside Down Question Marks
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How to Type Spanish Accents, French Accents, and Upside Down Question Marks
Ever try to type “¡Olé!,” with the accent and (and the proper punctuation) but all you could get was “Ole”? Maybe you’d like to type “¿Cómo estás?” but can’t figure out how to put in the accents or the upside-down question mark. Either way, if you’re using a Mac, this is the article for you. We’ll have you typing all kinds of groovy accents and symbols and other neat stuff in no time.
I wrote about typing Spanish and French accents on an iPhone or iPad in a separate article.
You could memorize everything but that’s no fun. Here’s how you can learn for yourself where the special characters are.
1. Go to System Preferences and click on Keyboard.
2. Check the box that says “Show Keyboard & Character Viewer in menu bar.”
Close up System Preferences and look in your menu bar for a new icon. It looks like this:
Enlarged, it looks like this:
3. Click the Keyboard & Character Viewer icon in the menu bar and choose “Show Keyboard Viewer.” Now you see a representation of your keyboard. Here’s mine.
Try holding down the shift key on your real keyboard. You should see something like this:
Of course this is nothing new. You already knew that you would get capital letters if you held down the Shift key. Notice, by the way, that when you press a key on the keyboard it changes what you see in the Keyboard viewer. Here, the shift key is down, so both shift keys on the screen are highlighted.
4. Now for the good stuff. Hold down the Option key. You’ll see something like this:
Ignoring for the time being the orange keys, look at all of the other great stuff in there. Now you know how to type a perfect bullet: Option-8. You can type a cent sign (¢) with Option-4. You can type that upside-down question mark using Option-1. If you think about the Option key as being something like a shift key, you’d be on the right track. The keys do different things when you hold down Shift, and they do other different things when you hold down Option.
Turns out they do other other different things when you hold Option AND Shift at the same time. Here’s a look:
If you’ve ever wanted to type an Apple logo, now you know: it’s Option-Shift-K. And there’s our upside-down question mark: Option-Shift-question mark.
Now, back to our orange keys. When you hold the Option key by itself it shows you those five orange keys. If you keep the option key down, and then type one of those keys, and then you let go, and then you type a vowel (usually) you will get a special character, along these lines:
à, è, ì, ò, ù
á, é, í, ó, ú
ä, ë, ï, ö, ü
â, ê, î, ô, û
That’s going to come in handy someday. Especially if you need to properly type “résumé” (and you might– there’s a recession on you know). Or “Löwenbräu” (and you might– there’s a recession on, you know).
You might have noticed that I did not use the Option-n combination yet. That’s because it doesn’t work on the vowels. Instead, it works on the “n” itself. So, you type Option-n, then let go, then “n” again, and you get…
Perfect for typing “hasta mañana,” a great way to end.
UPDATE: this is all very nice if you are using a Mac with OS X 10.6 or higher. If you are on 10.5, you’ll find the controls for turning on the Keyboard Viewer and the Character Viewer under “International” in the System Preferences. If you are on 10.4, it’s time to upgrade. Get to 10.5 if on a G5 machine, 10.6 otherwise.
See also my article about typing accents and other special characters on iPads and iPhones.
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This is what I use.
Last updated 08/12/18
by Christian Boyce
How to type an upside down question mark » Internet
Spanish keyboard not necessary
The upside down or inverted question mark is unique to the languages of Spain and is used at the beginning of a sentence to signify a question or exclamation. Since there are many more letters and symbols than can comfortably fit onto a level-1 keyboard, less commonly used characters have to be accessed via shortcuts or other means. If you need to type an upside down question mark, there are various different methods of achieving this either by using shortcuts or inserting symbols.
Using Microsoft Windows.
If you’re using Windows on your PC or laptop, you can use the Alt key plus numeric codes to type an upside down question mark. While your document is open, hold down the ‘Alt‘ key and type 0191 on the numeric keypad. This will type the � upside down question mark. Or, if it’s easier to remember, you can also type ‘Alt 168‘.
Using an Apple Macintosh.
To type an upside down question mark on an Apple Macintosh, hold down the ‘Shift’ + ‘Option’ + ‘Question mark’ keys together. If the Option Key is labeled ‘Alt‘, then press the Alt key instead.
If you want to type an upside down question mark for your website or blog, you may need to use the html code. To do this, open up your html code. Where you need to insert the inverted question mark type: �. This should work in most browsers. However, iIf you’re using an older browser you may need to type � instead.
Setting the language.
If you’re typing in Word, you can set the language to Spanish. This way, each time you type a question mark at the beginning of a sentence, it will automatically type it upside down. To do this, click on the ‘Review‘ tab on the top toolbar. Look for the ‘Proofing‘ group and click on the ‘Set Language‘ option. Scroll down the list of languages and select: ‘Spanish (Spain, Traditional Sort)’.
Using the symbol option.
If you’re in Word, Excel or PowerPoint, you can use the insert symbol option to type an inverted question mark. To do this, browse to ‘Insert‘ on the toolbar and click on the ‘Symbol‘ option. In Word, it may show up as the first symbol. When displaying the full symbol menu, the inverted question mark can be found after the �, � and 3/4 symbols.
Using the character map.
You will also find an upside down question mark on the Character Map. To find the character map, click on the Windows button and type ‘charmap‘ in the ‘search programs and files’ box. This will place the character map at the top of the list of programs.
Opening the character map will display an enormous number of symbols on display. You should find the upside down question mark seven rows down and just after the �, � and 3/4 symbols. Click on the inverted question mark and it will be inserted into your document.
• Non Spanish keyboard;
• Microsoft Windows; or
• Apple Macintosh; or
• HTML; or
• Character map; or
• Symbols; or
• Numeric keypad; or
• Language setting.
Tips & Warnings
• Note that the shortcut forms (Alt 0191) and (Alt 168) only work on the numeric keypad to the right of the keyboard and not the numbers along the top. If you don’t have a numeric keypad, you should use an alternative step to type your upside down question mark.
• Make sure you have the ‘Num Lock’ on when using the numeric keypad.
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