This Online Accent Marks Keyboard is an online tool that allows anyone to create, make or put accent marks above or below any letter or character in just three steps.
We all know that our keyboardshavea standard set of letters, numbers, and symbols on them. To type thesecharacters, we usually don’t need to press more than a few keys at once. There are times, however, when we need to type special letters, such as those with accent marks below or above them.
There are several ways to type these special letters on the keyboard, however, with some level of difficulty. And if you frequently type these special characters, you may find it time-consuming to try to find ways to get those symbols with your keyboard.
That’s why we created this free online Accent Marks Keyboard for people like you to use, as it enables anyone irrespective of their technical knowledge to type and put accents on any letter or character.
Thus, to type letters with accent marks (below or above them), use this free online keyboard tool. You can do so following the steps below:
1. Type the letter to be accented inside the textbox.
2. Click on the accent you want to add above or below the letter.
3. Copy your letters with accent marks by clicking the Copy button.
Now that you’ve gotten the tool to type any letter with any accent mark, we will like to use this opportunity to educate you more about accent marks.
Most beginner French classes introduce you to Acute (é) and Grave (à/è/ì/ò/ù) aka L'AccentAigu and L'Accent Grave. Acute and Grave are two of the three accent marks found in the French language. It's that tiny punctuation mark located at the top of the vowel.
French isn't the only language that carries accent marks. The English language also uses accent marks (like café). However, English uses accent marks to adapt Latin to its phonemes. More on that later.
You can find accent marks in Spanish, Polish, Norwegian, Welsh, Tibetan, Scottish Gaelic, etc. Some accent marks are common and you may have come across them.
Here's everything you need to know about accent marks plus some other methods you can use to type these accented characters on the keyboard without using this online tool.
The official term for accent marks is Diacritic(s). Calling them accent is a loose term, according to an article published by the University of Sussex.
Accent marks are the different little dots and squiggles which, in many languages, are written below, above or on top of certain letters of the alphabet to signify something about their pronunciation.
Another definition of diacritics: Diacritics are marks placed over, under, or through letters or combinations of letters that indicate differences in pronunciation and meaning between the marked letter and its unmarked counterpart.
Common diacritics are the umlaut (for instance, ü), the acute (for instance, ó), the grave (for instance, à), and the macron (for instance, ō).
You can also come across double diacritics. They are two diacritics modifying a single letter. Furthermore, you can find special characters in the diacritics realm.
Special characters occupy a place of their own rather than modifying a letter. Common special characters include the Polish l ( ł ) and the alif ( ’ ).
Here’s a list of common diacritics worldwide:
1. Acute ( ´ )
2. Alif ( ’ )
3. Angstrom or Circle above letter (Å)
4. Apostrophe ( ’ )
6. Breve ( Ă )
7. Cedilla ( ¸ )
8. The circle below letter ( ￮ )
9. Circumflex ( ^ )
10. The dot above the letter or Superior dot ( . )
11. Dot below letter ( . )
12. Double acute ( ″ )
13. Grave ( ` )
14. Hacek ( ៴ )
15. Left hook
17. Macron (¯ )
19. Polish l ( ł )
20. Slash o ( ø )
21. Tilde ( ~ )
22. Turkish i ( ɪ )
24. Umlaut or diaeresis ( ¨ )
Most accent marks do not appear on the English standard keyboard nor are they part of the section of the special character in some software. You may also notice that some of the common accent marks have names in different languages. Some diacritics or accent marks are specific to its language. However, you can find some of the common diacritics in most word processors today.
In 1885, the royal library of the ancient Assyrian capital, Nineveh, was excavated. In it, they found the earliest written documents in Sumerian. Here’s a small example of ancient Sumerian text:
usaŋanu ki dumuŋaše
usakulu ki dumuŋaše
igibadbadani u kunib
u eme za malilikani
za mallilil u nagule…
You can see some diacritics present in the text. During this time, political factors affected the Sumerian people, and the language was forgotten but not quite. It lived on, however, its descendants merged with their oppressors creating another language altogether. The language was similar but not quite the same.
Regardless, during this time, cultures would interact either due to wars, economics, etc. The Greeks interacted with many people from different cultures. One of the groups they interacted with were the oppressors of the Sumerian people.
Thanks to trade, wars, economic factors, etc. different cultures interacted and brought about changes in the different writing systems. One such change or evolution was the introduction of diacritics or accent marks to the Greek writing system.
The term diacritic comes from Ancient Greek. According to ancient forms of writing, diacritics truly came into fruition with the Greeks. Even today, our languages still carry the impact of the Greek writing system. We still use the Greek alphabet in mathematical equations.
Moving on from that, Diacritics were part of the advancement of early forms of their writing system. After the death of Alexander the Great, scholars introduced diacritics and breathinginto the writing system.
These are part of the earliest known proofs of diacritics in writing systems. During that time, there were several types of writing systems. We can assume that the Greeks included diacritics/ accent mark s and breathing during the 2nd or 3rd century BCE.
Greek scholar, Aristophanes of Byzantium, is credited with the invention of the accent marks system used in Greek to designate pronunciation, as the tonal, pitched system. The accents were designed to assist in the pronunciation of Greek in older literary works.
Over time, the Romans conquered the Greeks, however, Greek literature remained at the forefront of Roman literature, culture, etc. So you’ll find old inscriptions from 1 century AD containing accent marks.
Here’s a Roman inscription from 205AD:
Antonino Pio Felici Aug(usto) et
P(ublio) Septimio Getae no-
⟦ḅịḷị[ssimo]⟧ ⟦[ Caesari]⟧ ⟦[ d(ominis)]⟧
n(ostris) imp(eratore) Antonino II eṭ
GẹṭạCaesare co(n)s(ulibus) centuriam
sub cura G(ai) Valeri Pudentis
In the inscription, you will notice the small dots underneath some letters. The brackets are for translation purposes. But you can see the influence the introduction of accent marks to the Greek writing system had on the Roman writing system.
Here’s another Roman inscription that shows other accent marks/diacritics:
λη(ι) τῶ(ι) ἀνδρί
You can see the acute accent mark or in this case, the apex accent. The apex accent would evolve to what we know today as the acute accent.
Accent marks also come into play in Arabic. When they showed up in the Arabic writing system is unclear, however, Arabs interacted with numerous cultures worldwide due to massive trade. Which can be one of the means through which accent marks landed in the Arabic language.
Languages evolved with time, and so did accent marks. This history, albeit short, is just an assumptive history of accent marks and their beginnings. Its unclear when they came into writing systems, but the earliest known accent marks presumably started with the Sumerians.
It then trickled down to the Greeks and Romans. Considering the massive effect these cultures had on modern linguistics, it’s only natural that we still use accent marks.
Most linguistic characters have their own rules. Its like a period. You can only place it at the end of a sentence. Accent marks have their own rules and these rules differ throughout their respective languages. We’ll take a look at some of the accent mark rules in English, French, and Spanish to give you an understanding of the different rules for different accent marks and how the language impacts them.
Diacritics or accent marks aren’t an English staple. However, there are three main situations in which they occur.
1. Foreign Words Integrated Into English
English includes many foreign words. For instance, the word schadenfreude was an 18th century derivation from the German language. The word has no direct translation.
Most derived words tend not to have a direct translation from English. It might not be all of them, however, some of these derived words have accent marks that really make them stand out in the dictionary.
Here’s examples of derived words in the Eglish dictionary with accent marks: café, naive, (originally the i has two dots at the top), cortège. With time, these words lost the accent marks, but some dictionaries keep the original with the accent marks.
2. The Diaeresis (¨)
If you check the list of common accent marks/diacritics, you’ll come across the diaeresis. They are two dots at the top of a vowel. Occasionally in the English dictionary, you’ll find it in some words. Diaeresis in words is commonly old fashioned, for example, did you know that the word cooperate used to be written as coöperate. Notice the diaeresis at the top of the second o?
You can also find diaeresis in names such as Zoë and Brontë. Most linguists will recommend that you do not use diaeresis. But rather the evolved form of the word such as cooperate. Another word with diaeresis is aërate which evolved to aerate.
Please note that people with diaeresis in their names might choose to keep them and their pronunciation. It would be polite to take that into account when writing or pronouncing their names.
3. The Grave Accent Mark (`)
The grave accent mark is one of the most common accent marks in French and English. French-derived words tend to keep the accent marks. One common word that uses the grave accent mark is café. You will notice that the French rule for using the grave accent mark is similar to the English rule.
You can only use the grave accent mark on the ‘e’ vowel at the end of a word to show that the vowel is a separate syllable. Without the grave accent mark, you can read the ‘e’ in cafe as a single syllable. However, the ‘e’ café is a separate syllable.
As shared earlier, accent marks have rules. Different languages have different rules for accent marks. You will also notice that some languages share rules for accent marks as seen in the case of the grave accent mark and the acute accent mark. Let’s take a look at two French accent marks and their rules.
1. L’accentAigu Or The Acute Accent Mark
The acute accent is the most common and used French accent mark. You’ll find it in words like aimé (to love), regardé (to watch), éléphant (elephant), etc. The main rule for this accent mark is that you can only use it the vowel ‘e’. The acute accent mark turns the ‘é’ into a separate syllable, similar to the grave accent.
2. L’accent grave Or The Grave Accent Mark
Next up is the grave accent mark. The French use it with ‘a’, ‘e’, or ‘u’, however, you’ll find most words with the grave accent with e. Regardless, there are some words that have the ‘a’ or ‘u’ with the grave accent. Here are some words that use the grave accent: frère (father) , après (after), etc.
Lastly, we have Spanish. Spanish has two common accent marks, the tilde (ñ) and umlaut (ü) which is similar to the diaeresis but in Spanish, you refer to it as an umlaut. What are the rules?
1. Tilde (ñ)
The purpose of the tilde is to distinguish ‘n’ from ‘ñ. The ‘ñ’ has a different pronunciation from the n. Here are some words with the ñ: año (year), mañana (tomorrow), etc.
2. Umlaut (ü)
An umlaut is the Spanish verision of a diaeresis. An umlaut is placed on a ‘u’ after the letter ‘g’. Here are some words that use the umlaut: pingüino (penguin), güe (wow), etc.
Different accent marks or diacritics have different rules. Some accent marks in different languages share rules because of derivations. To properly understand how to use accent marks, it is imperative that you study its specific languages.
English uses very few words with accent marks, and some words evolved to remove the need for accent marks, because they held no tonal or pronunciation relevance unlike in their original language.
As shared earlier, Arabic includes accent marks. Arabic diacritics are known as i‘jām. The Arabic writing system does not consider them as accent marks but as part of the letter. Regardless, to get a better understanding of Arabic diacritics, you will have to study the language.
Understanding accent marks and their rules is one thing, but how do you apply them on modern tools like a laptop or PC? There are two ways to accomplish this feat.
1. Keyboard Shortcuts
Microsoft does an amazing job of educating its users on how they can apply accent marks to text. Please note, that this method only applies to MS Word. We tried it in Google Chrome, it did not work. That means you cannot use keyboard shortcuts on Google Docs. However, there is a way for you to add these accent marks to Google Docs. More on that later.
If you want to add the grave accent to text, here’s the keyboard shortcut:
CTRL + (THE GRAVE ACCENT) + THE LETTER
Where’s the grave accent key on the keyboard? The grave accent is right below the ESC button on your top left. The same key( the grave accent key) can also give you the Spanish tilde accent mark. Here’s how you do it:
CTRL + SHIFT + TILDE + THE LETTER
What about the acute accent? You can find the grave accent on the keyboard but you can’t find the acute accent. Here’s the keyboard shortcut:
CTRL + APOSTROPHE + THE LETTER
Here’s how you can add the umlaut or the diaeresis to your MS Word document:
CTRL + SHIFT + COLON + THE LETTER
Disclaimer: Remember not to put the plus sign when you’re using these keyboard shortcuts.The plus sign in the shortcuts is just a means to show the process of using the keyboard shortcuts.
Microsoft offers a few of these keyboard shortcuts to use accent marks. They do not offer shortcuts to the majority of common accent marks.
Here’s a keyboard shortcut to the Angstrom or Circle above letter:
CTRL + SHIFT + @ + a or A
Microsoft offer around ten of the common accent marks/diacritics. There is another method to access the accent marks if the keyboard shortcuts are too much for you:
2. The Touch Keyboard
The next solution is to use the touch keyboard. Here’s how you can access the touch keyboard on your laptop.
I. Right Click on your Task Bar
II. Scroll to the Show Touch Keyboard Button option
III. On your bottom right you’ll see a keyboard icon.
IV. Click the keyboard icon and the touch keyboard will pop up on your screen.
The touch keyboard works similar to a phone smart keyboard. When you long press the letters, you should see the letters with the accent marks. This method is long and tedious, but it is the simplest and fastest way to get your writing across.
This method also applies in Google Chrome, Mozilla FireFox, and Microsoft Edge. You can use it to search up words that come with the accent marks.
You can also ‘turn off’ the touch keyboard with the same method you used to ‘turn it on’. However, it shouldn’t pose a problem. You can still use your regular keyboard or an external keyboard.
3. Adding A Keyboard
Windows offers the option of adding a keyboard to your list of keyboards. So you can have your English keyboard and keyboards in other languages. You can switch among these keyboards to get the desired accent mark. This method is long, but you will have a wider variety of accent marks.
According to Microsoft, here’s how you can add a keyboard:
I. Go to the Start button
II. Select Settings