How to Type a Grave Accent Mark on Any Keyboard

Voilà: how and when to use the grave accent

What to Know

  • Mac: Hold Option and press the grave key on the keyboard. Release the keys and type the letter to accent.
  • Windows: On the numeric keypad, press Num Lock. Hold down Alt and type the 4-digit code for the accented letter. Or, use Character Map.
  • iOS/Android: On the virtual keyboard, press and hold A, E, I, O, or U to open a window with an accent. Slide your finger to the grave and lift.

This article explains multiple ways to type a grave accent mark on Mac, Windows, and iOS and Android mobile device keyboards. It includes information for typing a grave in HTML.

How to Type a Grave Accent on a Mac

The grave accent mark is seldom used in English. However, the French gave us accent-rich words like vis-à-vis, voilà, and pièce de resistance. In English, grave accent marks are used with the following uppercase and lowercase vowels: À, à, È, è, Ì, ì, Ò, ò, Ù, and ù.

There are several ways to type a grave accent on a Mac keyboard.

Use a Keystroke Combination

Use a keystroke combination to type a grave accent on a Mac computer.

  1. Hold the Option key and then press the grave key, which is the same as the tilde key (~).

  2. Release the keys and type the letter you want to accent to create a lowercase character with a grave accent mark.

    If you want the letter to be uppercase, press the Shift key before typing the letter you want to accent.

Use the Keyboard Accent Menu

Here's how to use the keyboard accent menu to type a grave accent.

  1. On the keyboard, press and hold the key for the letter you want to accent until a menu appears. The menu includes the different accent options available for the letter. Each option has a number under it that corresponds to a number key.

    Mac accent menu

  2. Press the number on the keyboard that corresponds to the character or accent mark you want to use, or click the item in the accent menu with the mouse.

Use the Emoji & Symbols Menu

Here's how to use the Emoji & Symbols menu to type a grave accent on a Mac computer.

  1. From the menu bar, select Edit > Emoji & Symbols.

    The keyboard shortcut is Control+Command+Space.

    The Emoji & Symbols item under the Edit menu
  2. Select the Window icon in the upper-right corner of the Emoji & Symbols menu.

    The Window icon in Emojis & Symbols
  3. In the search bar, enter grave to view an expanded selection of characters with grave accents.

    The search bar in Emojis & Symbols
  4. Click and drag the character you want to use in the text field you are working in.

    Dragging a grave accent to a text file

How to Type a Grave Accent in Windows

If you have a numeric keypad on the right side of the keyboard, use it to produce grave accents with four-digit number codes on computers with Windows.

The numeric keypad is a 17-key keypad usually found on the far right side of a standard PC keyboard. It can also be a separate device that connects to the computer. Press the Num Lock key to enable or disable the numeric keypad.

  1. Press Num Lock at the top of the keyboard to turn on the numeric keypad.

  2. Hold down the Alt key while typing the appropriate four-digit number code on the numeric keypad to type a character with a grave accent mark.

The number codes for uppercase letters are as follows:

  • Alt + 0192 = À
  • Alt + 0200 = È 
  • Alt + 0204 = Ì 
  • Alt + 0210 = Ò 
  • Alt + 0217 = Ù 

The number codes for lowercase letters are as follows:

  • Alt + 0224 = à 
  • Alt + 0232 = è 
  • Alt + 0236 = ì 
  • Alt + 0242 = ò 
  • Alt + 0249 = ù 

If you don't have a numeric keypad, this method won't work. However, you can copy and paste accented characters from the Character Map instead. In Windows 10, enter map in the search box on the taskbar and select Character Map from the list of search results.

Microsoft Windows character map

Grave on iOS and Android Mobile Devices

Use the virtual keyboard on your iOS or Android mobile device to access special characters with accent marks, including the grave.

  1. Position the cursor in any app that supports text.

  2. Press and hold the A, E, I, O, or U key on the virtual keyboard to open a window with accent options for that letter.

  3. Slide your finger to the character with a grave and then lift your finger to select it and insert it where the cursor is positioned.

    Selecting a Grave accent on an iPhone

Grave Accent in HTML

To use a grave accent mark on a website, insert the mark in the HTML by typing & (ampersand symbol) followed by the letter (A, E, I, O, or U), the word grave, then a ; (semicolon) with no spaces between the characters.

Tips for Working With Grave Accents

In HTML, some characters with grave accent marks may appear smaller than the surrounding text. In this case, enlarge the font for only those characters as needed.

In Windows, don't use the numbers located at the top of the keyboard to insert characters with accents. Use the numeric keypad and be sure Num Lock is turned on.

Some programs may have special keystrokes or menu options for creating diacriticals like the grave accent mark. See the application manual or help files if the general keystroke instructions presented here don't work for typing grave accent marks in an app or program.

Other Diacritical Marks

Other diacritical marks are accessed in a manner similar to typing a grave accent. These characters are available through keyboard shortcuts:

  • The acute accent (á).
  • The cedilla, which is attached to the bottom of a letter such as in the word façade.
  • The circumflex accent (ˆ).
  • The umlaut, which consists of two dots above a letter, such as in coöperate.
  • The tilde (~) has its own key on most keyboards.
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