How to Add Accents in Word

Simple ways to create accents

What to Know

  • In Microsoft Word, select Insert tab > Symbol > More Symbols > choose accent > Insert > Close.
  • You can also add accents in Word using keyboard shortcuts.
  • On a Mac, hold down key for letter you want to accent. A small window will appear. Choose corresponding number.

This article explains how to add accents in Microsoft Word using the menu bar or keyboard shortcuts. It also covers how to add accents if you're using a Mac.

How to Add Accents in Word Using the Menu Bar

It's easy to add accents in Word using the menu bar. Here's how to do it in Word 2016, which comes with a Microsoft 365 subscription. If you have an older version of Word, that's fine too; the process is similar for Word 2013, Word 2010, and Word 2007.

If you are using an unusual font in Word, you may not be able to add an accent using that particular font. In that case, your best bet is to switch to one of the standard fonts.

  1. Open Microsoft Word.

  2. Select the Insert tab on the menu bar.

  3. Select the Symbol option, which you'll find on the right-hand side of your screen next to the Omega symbol (Ω).

  4. A drop-down menu will appear. Select More Symbols.

  5. The Symbols dialog box will open. If you need one of the more common accents, you should see it as you scroll down the list of letters.

    If you don't immediately see the accent you want, make sure you're viewing the Symbols tab and the Font drop-down menu is set to Normal Text.

  6. Choose the accent you want, select the Insert button, then select Close.

    To access an even larger library of accents, select Latin Extended-A in the Subset drop-down menu at the right-hand side of your screen.

  7. You're done!

How to Add Accents in Word Using Keyboard Shortcuts

Of course, using the menu isn't the only way to add accents in Word. Some people prefer the convenience of a handy keyboard shortcut. Here's how to put an accent over a letter using a keyboard shortcut.

Here's how to add accents in Word using keyboard shortcuts.
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Microsoft Word allows you to use keyboard shortcuts you create accents as you're typing, which is often a lot faster than digging into the menu.

  • If you need to call up the "á" character featuring an acute accent, for example, all you need to do is press Ctrl+' (apostrophe), lift your fingers from the keys, then quickly press the A key. You can do the same thing to create an "ù," too; press Ctrl+' (apostrophe), release your fingers, then quickly press the U key.
  • To flip it around and create an accent grave on a character, say for the letter "é," all you have to do is press Ctrl+`(accent grave). The same process is repeatable for any letter you need. To add an accent to an uppercase letter, just enable caps lock on your keyboard before using the shortcut.

Once you've gotten the knack for this, you'll realize these shortcuts follow a pattern and you can easily adapt them on the fly to create the accent you want. Microsoft has a handy table showing some of the most commonly used keyboard shortcuts.

These keyboard shortcuts are best for Windows users. If you're on a Mac, there's an even simpler way to get it done.

How to Add Accents in Word on a Mac

If you're using a Mac, you have a very straightforward option for creating accents using the keyboard.

  1. Hold down the key for the letter you want to have an accent. For example, press and hold down the letter e if you want to put an acute accent on it, as in the word "café."

  2. A small window will appear above the text you’re typing. You'll notice each accent has a number.

    Adding accents in Word is super easy if you're a Mac user.
  3. Choose the number corresponding to the accent you want and it will be inserted into your text.

Now that you know how to add accents in Word, you'll be über talented at including them anytime you like.

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