How to Add Accents in Google Docs

Need to type a letter with an accent mark? No problem!

What To Know

  • Use a keyboard shortcut—e.g., type á with Alt+0225 on Windows or Option+e on a Mac.
  • Or, go to Insert > Special characters in Docs. Google Input Tools works, too.
  • There are also several Google Docs add-ons you can use.

This article explains how to add accent marks to Google Docs using keyboard shortcuts or by copying the accented letters from Google Input Tools or another add-on. These methods work on Windows and macOS.

Keyboard Shortcuts

If you can manage to remember them or don't mind always having a cheat sheet nearby, striking certain keys together is a quick and easy way to write letters with accents.

As you can see in the table below, Windows users need to hold down Alt while pressing a few numbers. Use your keypad when doing this, not the numbers along the top row.

Things are a tad different on a Mac. If we take Á as an example, you can see that you must first hold the Option key down and then press e. The comma you see means to depress completely (remove all fingers from the keyboard). Then, continue with the rest of the directions; in this case, you'd type Shift+a.

Accent Keyboard Shortcuts
 Result Windows Mac
 Á Alt+0193 Option+e, Shift+a
 á Alt+0225 Option+e, a
 É Alt+0201 Option+e, Shift+e
 é Alt+0233 Option+e, e
 Í Alt+0205 Option+e, Shift+i
 í Alt+ 0237 Option+e, i
 Ó Alt+0211 Option+e, Shift+o
 ó Alt+ 0243 Option+e, o
 Ú Alt+0218 Option+e, Shift+u
 ú Alt+0250 Option+e, u
 Ü Alt+0220 Option+u, Shift+u
 ü Alt+0252 Option+u, u
 Ñ Alt+0209 Option+n, Shift+n
 ñ Alt+0241 Option+n, n
 ¡ Alt+0161 Option+1
 « Alt+0171 Option+\
 » Alt+0187 Shift+Option+\
 ¿ Alt+0191 Shift+Option+?

Google Input Tools

Available from Google's website and a Chrome extension, Google Input Tools is the next best way to add accents to letters for two reasons: you don’t have to memorize anything, and you can draw the symbol if you don’t know what it’s called.

  1. From Google Docs, go to Insert > Special characters.

    Or, visit Google Input Tools and select Special Characters from the right side.

  2. You have three options here: search for the letter, refine the menu options, or draw the accented letter.

  3. If you're in Google Docs, just select the box that corresponds to the letter you want to use. It'll be inserted into the document automatically.

    Google Docs insert special characters

    Otherwise, if you're using Google Input Tools, choose something, and then close the special characters box.

    Google Input Tools website.
  4. Select the letter, right-click it, and choose Copy.

    Google Input Tools text box in Chrome's right-click menu.
  5. Return to Google Docs and paste it via Edit > Paste.

Another way to use this tool is through a virtual keyboard. It works in Chrome through the Google Input Tools extension.

Google Docs Add-ons

There are add-ons compatible with Google Docs built specifically for making it easy to import accented letters.

  1. Install an add-on that supports accented letters. As you'll see, there are a few to pick from; we'll use Easy Accents as an example.

    Add-ons are a bit like browser extensions, but they only work in Docs. The Special Characters Chrome extension is an example that makes it just as easy to use accents, but it works on other websites, too, not just Docs.

  2. After choosing Install, open the document you want to use the letters in and go to Add-ons > Easy Accents - Docs > Easy Accents - Start.

    Google Docs add-ons menu.
  3. Choose a language from the drop-down menu in the side panel.

  4. With the cursor located wherever you want the letter to go, select the corresponding button. To get an uppercase letter, hold Shift while selecting it.

    Spanish accents in a Google Docs add-on.

Use Your Computer's Built-in Method

Another way to type accented letters is to find them in Character Map in Windows or the on-screen keyboard in macOS. Both are similar to Google Input Tools, but they're built-in to the operating system—no download required.

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