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How to Type French Letters with Accents on Keyboard

In foreign languages like French, accent marks are very important. Often, an accent (or lack of it) can completely change the meaning of a Word.

In this guide you’ll learn how to type French Letters with Accents on an English keyboard.

There are several methods to get these French accents and you’ll learn them all in this post.

Using French Accent Alt Code Shortcut (Windows)

On Windows, alt codes are used to type symbols or characters that has no place on the keyboard.

This method is extremely powerful because it saves so much time when trying to type special characters like the Accented French letters.

The following are the steps you can take to type these symbols on Windows using the Alt Code method on the keyboard:

  • Open your document where you want to type the French Letters with Accents.
  • Then click to position the cursor where you need these accents.
  • Press and hold on to one of your keyboard’s Alt Keys.
  • As you hold down the Alt key, use the numeric keypad on the right to type the French Accent Alt code (see table below for all the Alt Codes)
  • Then release the alt key after typing the code.

As soon as you let go of the Alt key, the French symbol will appear.

Below are the Alt codes of all the French letters with Accent marks:

French Accent DescriptionFrench AccentsFrench Accents Alt Codes
French Accent E Acute – UppercaseÉAlt + 0201
French Accent e Acute – LowercaseéAlt + 0233
French Accent A Grave – UppercaseÀAlt + 0192
French Accent a Grave – LowercaseàAlt + 0224
French Accent E Grave – UppercaseÈAlt + 0200
French Accent e Grave – LowercaseèAlt + 0232
French Accent U Grave – UppercaseÙAlt + 0217
French Accent u Grave – LowercaseùAlt + 0249
French Accent A Circumflex – UppercaseÂAlt + 0194
French Accent a Circumflex – LowercaseâAlt + 0226
French Accent E Circumflex – UppercaseÊAlt + 0202
French Accent e Circumflex – LowercaseêAlt + 0234
French Accent I Circumflex – UppercaseÎAlt + 0206
French Accent i Circumflex – LowercaseîAlt + 0238
French Accent O Circumflex – UppercaseÔAlt + 0212
French Accent o Circumflex – LowercaseôAlt + 0244
French Accent U Circumflex – UppercaseÛAlt + 0219
French Accent u Circumflex – LowercaseûAlt + 0251
French Accent C Cedilla – UppercaseÇAlt + 0199
French Accent c Cedilla – LowercaseçAlt + 0231
French Accent E Umlaut – UppercaseËAlt + 0203
French Accent e Umlaut – LowercaseëAlt + 0235
French Accent I Umlaut – UppercaseÏAlt + 0207
French Accent i Umlaut – LowercaseïAlt + 0239
French Accent U Umlaut – UppercaseÜAlt + 0220
French Accent u Umlaut – LowercaseüAlt + 0252

The following rules must be followed for these French Letters Alt Code to work.

  • Before typing the code, you must hold down the Alt key.
  • To type the alt code, you must use the numeric keypad on the right side of the keyboard.
  • The NumLock must be enabled since you are using the 10-key numeric keypad. When you turn off NumLock, the number keys become disabled, and you won’t be able to type any numbers.
  • If you’re using a laptop that doesn’t have a numeric keypad, you’ll need to activate the hidden numeric keypad first. On most laptops, you can turn it on by simultaneously pressing the Fn + NmLk keys. However, this hidden numeric keypad isn’t on every laptop. If you own such a laptop, you won’t be able to type symbols using the alt code method unless you connect an external keyboard with a numeric keypad or use the on-screen keyboard. Yet still, you can use the other methods discussed in this guide.

French Letters with Accents on Mac

Mac also has very simple shortcut to obtain any special character including the French Accents.

The Alt code method above is only for Windows and can only be used on that OS.

However, these shortcuts will work for you if you’re using a Mac.

The table below has all the shortcuts you need to type any French Accent on Mac.

French Accent DescriptionFrench Accent SymbolsShortcut for Mac
French Accent E Acuteé[OPTION]+[e] then e
French Accent A Graveà[OPTION]+[`] then a
French Accent E Graveè[OPTION]+[`] then e
French Accent U Graveù[OPTION]+[`] then u
French Accent A Circumflexâ[OPTION]+[i] then a
French Accent E Circumflexê[OPTION]+[i] then e
French Accent I Circumflexî[OPTION]+[i] then i
French Accent O Circumflexô[OPTION]+[i] then o
French Accent U Circumflexû[OPTION]+[i] then u
French Accent C Cedillaç[Option] + [Shift] + [C]
French Accent E Umlautë[OPTION]+[u] then e
French Accent I Umlautï[OPTION]+[u] then i
French Accent U Umlautü[OPTION]+[u] then u

To use these shortcuts, simultaneously press and release Option and the next key in the shortcut, then press once on the last key.

Shortcut to type French Accents in Word

Even though you can use any of the above methods to insert or type French Accents anywhere including Microsoft Word.

However, these MS Word shortcuts are specially made to type these characters in Microsoft Word only.

The table below shows them all.

French Accent DescriptionFrench AccentsMS Word Shortcuts
French Accent E AcuteéCtrl+’ (apostrophe), then e
French Accent A GraveàCtrl+` (accent grave), then a
French Accent E GraveèCtrl+` (accent grave), then e
French Accent U GraveùCtrl+` (accent grave), then u
French Accent A CircumflexâCtrl+Shift+^ (caret), then a
French Accent E CircumflexêCtrl+Shift+^ (caret), then e
French Accent I CircumflexîCtrl+Shift+^ (caret), then i
French Accent O CircumflexôCtrl+Shift+^ (caret), then o
French Accent U CircumflexûCtrl+Shift+^ (caret), then u
French Accent C Cedillaç[Ctrl] + [ , ] , [ c ]
French Accent E UmlautëCtrl+Shift+: (colon), then e
French Accent I UmlautïCtrl+Shift+: (colon), then i
French Accent U UmlautüCtrl+Shift+: (colon), then u

Insert French Accent Symbols from Office Symbol Library

If using the keyboard isn’t your thing, there’s also a mouse-based method for getting French Letters with Accent symbol in Office like Microsoft Word.

To explain the steps, we’ll use screenshots from Microsoft Word. You can, however, use the same method in Excel and PowerPoint.

Without further ado, here are the steps to take:

  • Launch MS Word or Excel or PowerPoint.
  • Place your cursor at the desired place where you want to insert the French Accents.
  • Navigate to the Insert tab.
Go to the Insert tab
  • Click the Symbols button in the Symbols group, then select More Symbols from the drop-down menu.
More Symbols

The Symbol window will appear. It contains a gazillion of symbols which include the French Accent Letters.

  • Find the French Accent you want in the symbol library.

To easily locate these Accents, use the Subset dropdown list to display specific types of symbols. You can find the French Accent letters in the Latin-1 Supplement group.

  • To insert any of these symbols into your document, simply double-click on it. Alternatively, click the Insert button.
  • Close the Dialog.

If you follow the above steps carefully, you can insert these French symbols or any other symbol or character not available on the keyboard.

Copy and Paste French Accent Letters

This is by far the simplest way to obtain any symbol, including the French Accents.

You simply need to copy the letters somewhere, such as a web page and then press Ctrl + V after switching to the document where you need it.

If you want to copy these letters, you can do so in the table below.

French Accents
é
à
è
ù
â
ê
î
ô
û
ç
ë
ï
ü

If you have a Windows PC, the steps below will show you how to copy this symbol from the Character Map.

  • Search and Launch the Character Map app.
  • Near the button, select the Advance View checkbox to expand more Character map options.
Advanced view of the Character map dialog box
  • In the Advanced view you will see a search box. Search for the French letter you want to insert using the search box.
  • The symbol will appear in the search results.
  • Simply double click on it and hit on the Copy button after it is selected in the Characters to copy text box.

Conclusion

Obtaining these French letters with accents that do not have keys on the keyboard can be difficult.

However, with the assistance of the techniques we just discussed, it should no longer be a difficult task.

Thank you very much for taking the time to read this guide.