Type Characters With Umlaut Marks

Keyboard shortcuts offer a fast solution

What to Know

  • Windows users press Win+R > charmap. Double-click the character, select Copy, then Ctrl+V to paste.
  • Mac users press and hold the Option key while typing the letter or use the Character View program.

This article explains how to create an umlaut on a Windows PC, a Mac, and in HTML.

What Is an Umlaut?

The umlaut diacritic mark, also called a diaeresis or trema, is formed by two small dots over a letter, in most cases, a vowel. In the case of the lowercase i, those two dots replace the single dot. The umlaut diacritic marks are found on the upper and lower case vowels: Ä, ä, Ë, ë, Ï, ï, Ö, ö, Ü, ü, Ÿ, and ÿ.

An umlaut is used in many languages, including German, and a few of those languages have loanwords in English, which are words English borrowed from the other language (for example, the French word, naïve).

The umlaut diacritic carries over into English when it's used in foreign branding, for example in advertising, or for other special effects. The popular ice cream company Häagen-Daz is an example of such usage.

Different Strokes for Different Platforms

Several keyboard shortcuts render an umlaut from the keyboard, depending on the platform. 

Windows

On Windows PCs, enable Num Lock. Press and hold the Alt key while typing the appropriate number code on the numeric keypad to create characters with umlaut marks.

If you don't have a numeric keypad on the right side of your keyboard, these numeric codes won't work. The row of numbers at the top of the keyboard, above the alphabet, doesn't work for numeric codes.

These are the numeric codes for uppercase letters with an umlaut:

  • Ä: Alt+0196
  • Ë: Alt+0203
  • Ï: Alt+0207
  • Ö: Alt+0214
  • Ü: Alt+0220
  • Ÿ: Alt+0159

These are the numeric codes for lowercase letters with an umlaut:

  • ä: Alt+0228
  • ë: Alt+0235
  • ï: Alt+0239
  • ö: Alt+0246
  • ü: Alt+0252
  • ÿ: Alt+0255

If you don't have a numeric keypad on the right side of your keyboard, or the Num Lock key isn't present on your keyboard, copy and paste accented characters from the character map. In Windows, open the character map from the Run dialog box.

  1. Press Win+R to open the Run dialog box, then enter charmap.

  2. Double-click or double-tap the character you want to copy so that it appears in the Characters to copy text box.

    Microsoft Windows character map
  3. Select Copy to copy the character, after which you can paste it anywhere with the Ctrl+V keyboard shortcut.

The Windows character map is also a great way to learn which hotkeys produce different characters. Select a character in the Character Map to view the Keystroke information at the bottom of the window, which describes which keys make that character.

Mac

On a Mac, press and hold the Option key while typing the letter u and then type the letter to which you want to add the umlaut.

The Character Viewer program in macOS is another way to access these special characters. You can get there from most text boxes in most programs, through the Edit > Emoji & Symbols menu.

Accented Letter list in Character Viewer in macOS

Another way to access these characters on a Mac is to use the PopChar X program, which is like a Mac version of the Windows Character Map utility.

Mobile Devices

On an iOS or Android device, access umlaut marks by tapping-and-holding a particular key. For example, tap and hold the uppercase or lowercase O key, then slide your finger over to ö or Ö to use it in texts, emails, and other documents.

HTML

Computer programmers use HTML as the basic computer language to build web pages. HTML is used to create almost every page on the web. It describes and defines the content of a web page.

In HTML, render characters with an umlaut by typing & (the ampersand symbol), followed by the letter (like A), the letters uml, and then a semicolon (;). This string must not include any spaces between the characters.

Here are some examples:

  • &euml: ë
  • &Uuml: Ü
  • &yuml: ÿ

In HTML, the characters with an umlaut might appear smaller than the surrounding text. To make the text flow better, enlarge the font for those characters.