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How to Type German Letters with Accents on Keyboard

In foreign languages like German, 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 German Letters with Accents on an English keyboard.

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

Using German Accent Alt Code Shortcut (Windows)

On Windows, alt codes are used to type symbols or characters that have 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 German 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 German 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 German 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 German symbol will appear.

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

DescriptionGerman LettersKeyboard Alt code
German Letter Sharp S | Eszett | Scharfes SßAlt + 0223
Uppercase German Letter A with UmlautÄAlt + 0196
Lowercase German Letter a with UmlautäAlt + 0228
Uppercase German Letter O with UmlautÖAlt + 0214
Lowercase German Letter o with UmlautöAlt + 0246
Uppercase German Letter U with UmlautÜAlt + 0220
Lowercase German Letter u with UmlautüAlt + 0252

The following rules should be followed for these German Letters Alt Code to work without any issues.

  • 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.

German Letters with Accents on Mac

Mac also has a very simple shortcut to obtain any special character including the German 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 German Accent on Mac.

German Letter DescriptionGerman LettersGerman Letters Mac Shortcut
German Letter S or Sharp SßOption + S
German Letter A with UmlautÄOption + U, then A
German Letter O with UmlautÖOption + U, then O
German U with UmlautÜOption + 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 German Accents in Word

Even though you can use any of the above methods to insert or type German 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.

German Letter DescriptionGerman LettersGerman Letters Mac Shortcut
German Letter S or Sharp SßCtrl + Shift + &, then S
German Letter A with UmlautÄCtrl + Shift + ;(semicolon), then a
German Letter O with UmlautÖCtrl + Shift + ;(semicolon), then o
German U with UmlautÜCtrl + Shift + ;(semicolon), then u

Insert German Accent Symbols from Office Symbol Library

If using the keyboard isn’t your thing, there’s also a mouse-based method for getting German 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 German 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 German Accent Letters.

  • Find the German 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 German 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 German symbols or any other symbol or character not available on the keyboard.

Copy and Paste German Accent Letters

This is by far the simplest way to obtain any symbol, including the German 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 as they are listed below.

German Letters
ß
Ä
Ö
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 on Windows Character map
  • In the Advanced view you will see a search box. Search for the German 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 German 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.