Spanish On Keyboard For Mac

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If you’re typing in languages other than English, chances are you have to deal with accents. German, Italian, Spanish, and other languages use a bunch of letters with diacritical marks — yeah, those weird curls on top of regular letters. So how to type French accents on Mac? What to do if you need to type a message to your Portuguese friend quickly?

Today, I’ll share some tips and tricks on how to do accents on Mac. Each method is useful in different ways: from being the best for working at speed to typing characters without touching the keyboard at all. We’ll also see how to optimize your system performance by getting rid of unnecessary language files.

How to add accents on Mac in 3 different ways

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Spanish Letters On Mac

There are three quick methods of how you can enter letters with accent marks. Let's see each one in detail.

Method 1. Use the accent menu

If you’re using the latest macOS versions, you can easily type accented letters with a long press on a specific key. To display the accent menu:

  1. Press and hold a letter on the keyboard until its alternative characters appear. The menu doesn’t pop up if no extra characters are available for the key you’re holding.
  2. Click on the character to pick it from the list — for example, é.

You can also hit the number key associated with the accented character you want to type. Another way is to use the left/right arrow keys. Once you select the needed character, tap the Space bar.

If you want to close the menu without typing any letter, press Esc (escape).

Although the accent menu is available in major apps, web browsers, and text editors, there are still some environments that don’t support it.


If you want to learn how to type Italian accents on Mac, this method is the way to go. It sticks to the most-used characters but doesn’t work so well for more exotic ones. The best part is that you don’t have to keep tons of key combos in your mind.

Method 2. Use dead keys

If you find yourself regularly using accented characters, then learning some useful key combos can save you tons of time. Here’s how shortcuts work:

  1. Hold Option as a modifier key and press a key that corresponds to a specific diacritical mark.
  2. When the accent preview appears, release the keys and type the letter you want to apply the accent to.

Wondering how to type Spanish accents on Mac? To get ñ, for example, you need to hold down Option-N, release this combination and then press N again. To get the capital letter Ñ, add Shift: Option–N, Shift–N. As simple as that – now you can order piñatas online!

The dead keys may seem tricky at first, but if you use them for a while, they’ll feel more natural. To see where all possible accents are located on your keyboard layout, check out the Keyboard Viewer:

  1. Go to the Input menu on the right side of the menu bar.
  2. Choose Show Keyboard Viewer to open a new window with the keyboard layout. It’ll show the keyboard depending on the current input source you use.
  3. Hold the Option key to highlight the dead keys — they’re outlined in orange. Here’s an example of the standard QWERTY (English) keyboard.

If you can’t find the ‘Show Keyboard Viewer’ command in the Input menu, select System Preferences from the Apple menu, and click the Keyboard icon. Then, go to the Keyboard tab and check ‘Show keyboard and emoji viewers in the menu bar’.

Here’s how to put accents on letters on Mac using the typical English keyboard. These shortcuts work perfectly for most Latin-script languages, without the need to switch between input sources.

  • Acute (á, é, í, ó, ú, ý): Option–E, the letter
  • Circumflex (â, ê, î, ô, û): Option–I, the letter
  • Tilde (ã, õ, ñ): Option–N, the letter
  • Umlaut and dieresis (ä, ë, ï, ö, ü, ÿ): Option–U, the letter
  • Grave (à, è, ì, ò, ù): Option–`(grave), the letter
  • Cedilla (ç): Option–C
  • OE Ligature (œ): Option–Q
  • Æ Ligature (æ): Option–’ (apostrophe)
  • å: Option–A
  • ø: Option–O
  • ß: Option–S
  • ¿: Shift–Option–?
  • ¡: Option–1

Method 3. Character Viewer

Looking for a way how to type Czech accents on Mac? Character Viewer comes especially in handy. While this method is widely used to add emoji into messages, it’s far more than just entering funny faces and symbols. Here’s how to use it:

  1. Put the insertion point in the text where you want the character to appear.
  2. Press Command-Control-Space to launch the Character Viewer. Or choose Show Emoji & Symbols in the Input menu if you’ve already set the option to show this command there.
  3. Click the expand button in the upper-right corner to display more categories.
  4. Select Latin on the left sidebar to open a list of accented characters.
  5. Double-click the one you want to insert into the document. That’s all!

Bonus tip: How to get rid of extra language files

Most of the apps on your Mac are developed to run on the different markets around the words. That means each of these applications comes with dozens of language files, also known as localizations used to display the app on the user’s native language.

Since you don’t speak most of these languages, such files just clutter your Mac. Luckily, you can safely remove them. Instead of trashing useless localizations manually for every single app, use the software I've been using for a while — CleanMyMac X.

Even though there are no magic buttons in life, its Smart Scan feature does a lot. It cleans up your Mac from unneeded files, detects potential threats, and shows how you can speed up your system. With a few clicks, CleanMyMac X will cut the extra weight and keep your Mac’s performance on top. Here’s how to use it:

  1. Download CleanMyMac X for free.
  2. Launch the app and hit Scan.
  3. When the scan is over, click Run.


If you want to edit the list of localizations before removal manually, click Review Details to proceed to the System Junk module. Once done, go back to the summary and press Run.

CleanMyMac X can quickly delete junk clusters from your Mac. Download it to free up your disk space for more important files.

Best text expansion app for Mac
Forget retyping. Rocket Typist saves text snippets.

Whether you’re new to Mac or have been using it for years, highly specialized things like shortcuts, special Mac symbols, and accented characters might result in a web investigation spiralling out of control.

If you’ve just recently switched from Windows, you should know that Macs don’t really use alt codes to type special symbols. Instead, all of the most popular Unicode characters can be typed in right from the keyboard. Unfortunately, Apple could do a much better job of shining light at this functionality.

For example, if you want to get a copyright symbol on Windows (©), you need to type in Alt 0169 — whereas, a copyright symbol on Mac is just Option + G. Similarly, a degree symbol on Mac (º) is Option + Zero and a registered trademark symbol on Mac (™) is Option + 2.

Truth is there are many more like this and below we’ll explore different ways of how to type copyright symbol on Mac or any special characters Macs allow, where to find Apple keyboard symbols, and whether there’s an emoji keyboard on Mac.

What Are All The Mac Keyboard Symbols?

While a standard computer keyboard contains around 80 keys, you’re able — in one way or another — use it to input all of the Unicode characters, of which there are about 130,000.

To start, simply explore how all the face-value characters change when you combine them with modifier keys — Control, Option, and Command. You can even combine multiple modifiers together as well. To see all Mac keyboard shortcuts symbols clearly, however, you need to turn on the full keyboard layout.

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Download Setapp to accelerate typing special keyboard symbols on Mac – bypass any limitations right now.

Spanish On Keyboard For Mac

Display all Mac keyboard symbols

Even if you’ve been using your Mac for a while, it’s useful to look at all the possible keyboard combinations from time to time to refresh your memory and discover new ways of quickly inputting information.

Luckily, it’s easy to show all Mac key symbols at once:

  1. Go to System Preferences ➙ Keyboard
  2. Check the box next to “Show keyboard and emoji viewers in menu bar”

Now you can click on the language flag in your menu bar and choose Show Keyboard Viewer. The interactive display will appear, showing all the keyboard symbols and altering the view in real time when you use modifier keys.

Spanish Keyboard For Mac

Of course, even using all the modifier keys and combinations available, it’s impossible to fit all the characters in such constrained amount of space. To see all Mac key symbols, you need to select Show Emoji & Symbols option from the same language flag menu, or use a shortcut Control + Cmd + Space.

Here, you’ll see all kinds of categories on the left: Emoji, Arrows, Currency Symbols, etc. In the center are all the characters within a given category. And on the right you can pick a font variation of the same symbol.

To type in a TM symbol Macs use, for example:

  1. Open your word processor of choice
  2. Call the Mac symbols menu
  3. Navigate to Letterlike Symbols on the sidebar
  4. Double-click on ™ to paste it into your editor

How to create custom Mac keyboard shortcuts symbols

With the Show Emoji & Symbols window, you have access to nearly all Unicode characters you’ll ever need. However, if you need to use some special characters — such as a copyright symbol on Mac — rather frequently, it would be quite inconvenient to call up a menu and search for what you need every time. Of course, you can add the copyright symbol to your favorite characters, which will save you some time, but there’s a much better way.

Macs allow you to create shortcuts for all keyboard symbols to be able to easily type them in whenever you need. For example, to create a shortcut for the copyright symbol on Mac:

  1. Type in the © character into your editor as described above and copy it with Command + C
  2. Open System Preferences ➙ Keyboard
  3. Navigate to the Text tab
  4. Click the plus sign
  5. Paste your © symbol in the With column on the right
  6. Type in a desired key combination to trigger the copyright symbol on Mac in the Replace column on the left

Although this default shortcuts method works well for characters or emoji, it doesn’t effectively translate into longer strings of text or paragraphs. If you want to, for instance, create a shortcut that outputs a sales email template, you’d need to use a little nifty tool called Rocket Typist.

Rocket Typist is a full-featured text expansion app created to minimize repetition in composing any form of text-based communication. It’s essentially a small database of text snippets you’ll use over and over again.

Starting with Rocket Typist is easy: use File ➙ New to create a new snippet, specify the abbreviation, fill out as much text (sentences or even paragraphs) as you need, and then use the abbreviation to expand text in any application.

How to switch between keyboard languages quickly

Sometimes, the Mac keyboard symbols you need are only available in another language — say, they could be Cyrillic-based. To access them, you’d need to enable another keyboard layout on your Mac.

Spanish Letters On Keyboard For Mac

Luckily, it’s easy to do:

  1. Go to System Preferences ➙ Keyboard
  2. Navigate to Input Sources
  3. Click the plus sign
  4. Choose the language you need and press Add

Now, the second keyboard layout will be activated. Don’t forget to check the box next to “Show Input menu in menu bar” to see which layout is currently active. The standard shortcut to switch between layouts is Cmd + Space, but you can also change it to Caps Lock key in the Input Sources options.

Extra tip: typing emoji on iPhone is much easier if you add an emoji keyboard layout to your languages.

Special Characters: Type in various symbol variations

In some cases, you might just want to access a variation of the symbol that’s already on your keyboard, such as an accented letter.

One way to do this is to find the character of your choice in the Keyboard Viewer, as described above. Another way is to use a keyboard shortcut. You can get an acute accent by typing Option + E and then the letter. Similarly, circumflex is Option + I, grave accent is Option + backquote, tilde is Option + N, and umlaut is Option + U.

A quicker option though is to simply press the key of the letter you want to modify and hold it for a second until a small menu appears. Then just choose a number that corresponds to the modification you seek.

Digitize complex math expressions

If your studies or line of work require the use of complex math, you might be spending too much time crafting LaTeX and MathML expressions by hand. But as with nearly everything else nowadays, there’s an easier way.

MathKey is a Mac app specifically developed to write complex equations in academic papers and math documents. Instead of composing dozens of obscure symbols together, the app allows you to hand-write the equation using your trackpad (or mouse) and output perfect LaTeX or MathML, ready for publication.

Spanish Characters Keyboard Windows 10

Search for anything instantly

It’s likely that you won’t retain all the information provided here. But don’t worry, the only thing you need to keep is a supercharged search that can take you right back to the answer you’re looking for.

Lacona is an intelligent search for your Mac that contextually analyzes the query and outputs a range of possible solutions, whether it’s launching a certain app, looking it up online, or performing a pre-defined action.

Spanish Keyboard For Macbook

Any question about Mac keyboard shortcuts symbols — such as “how to type copyright symbol on Mac?” — would be met with a guiding response. And all you have to do to start Lacona is press Option + Space.

So there are a lot of things your Mac is capable of that you might have not even considered before. With regards to symbols and characters, what you see on the keyboard is just a tiny slice compared to the total amount available. Using Mac symbols properly will enrich your communication, making it clear and efficient, especially if you get used to creating snippets with Rocket Typist, transferring math equations with MathKey, and keeping everything at the tips of your fingers with Lacona.

Best of all, the apps mentioned above are available to you on a free trial through Setapp, a platform of more than 150 specific Mac apps that are designed to make your days more productive and fun. Now you’re ready to solve some equations!

Setapp lives on Mac and iOS. Please come back from another device.

Meantime, prepare for all the awesome things you can do with Setapp.

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