How to Type a Tilde Mark

Keyboard shortcuts or command codes expand the characters you can type

A tilde diacritical mark is a small wavy line that appears over certain consonants and vowels. The mark is commonly used in Spanish and Portuguese. For example, to type the word mañanameaning tomorrow, in Spanish, using a PC with a number pad on the keyboard, you'll type a number code to get the tilde mark over the n. On a Mac, it is a little easier.

Tilde marks are commonly used on the uppercase and lowercase letters: Ã, ã, Ñ, ñ, Õ, and õ.

Person typing Spanish Vocabulary Words with the ~ mark
Lifewire / Derek Abella

Different Strokes for Different Platforms

Different keyboard shortcuts render a tilde on the keyboard depending on the platform you use.

Most Mac and Windows keyboards feature a tilde key for inline tilde marks, but it cannot be used to accent a letter. The tilde is sometimes used in English to mean approximately, for example, ~3000 B.C.

Some programs or different platforms may have special keystrokes that create diacriticals, including tilde marks. See the application manual or search the help guide if the following keystrokes do not create tilde marks for you.

Mac Computers

On a Mac, hold the Option key, press the letter N, then release both keys. A tilde appears above an underscored blank space. Then, immediately type the letter to be accented, such as the A, N or O, to create lowercase characters with tilde accent marks.

For the uppercase version of the character, press the Shift key, then type the letter to be accented.

Windows PCs

Enable Num Lock, hold the ALT key, and enter the appropriate number code on the numeric keypad to create characters with tilde accent marks.

For Windows, the number codes for the uppercase letters are:

  • Alt+0195 = Ã 
  • Alt+0209 = Ñ 
  • Alt+0213 = Õ 

For Windows, the number codes for the lowercase letters are:

  • Alt+0227 = ã 
  • Alt+0241 = ñ 
  • Alt+0245 = õ 

If your keyboard doesn't have a numeric keypad on the right side, paste accented characters from the character map. To locate the character map in Windows, select Start > All Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Character Map. Or, go to the search box in the Windows taskbar and enter character map. Select the letter you want and paste it into the document you're working on.

Windows Character Map


In HTML, render characters with tilde marks by typing the & (ampersand symbol), followed by the letter (A, N, or O), the word tilde, then a semicolon (;) without any spaces between them. For example:

  • ñ = ñ
  • Õ = Õ

In HTML, the characters with tilde marks may appear smaller than surrounding text. You might want to enlarge the font for those characters in some circumstances.

iOS and Android Mobile Devices

Access special characters with accent marks, including the tilde, using the virtual keyboard on your mobile device. Press and hold the A, N, or O key on the virtual keyboard to open a window with various accented options. Slide your finger to the character with a tilde and lift your finger to select it.