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¿Escribe en Español? How to Type Spanish Accents and Spanish Words

Updated on February 13, 2017
by Esparta Palma. Mexico is just one of the countries where Spanish is spoken.
by Esparta Palma. Mexico is just one of the countries where Spanish is spoken. | Source

If you bought your Windows system in the U.S., then you can easily use its default keyboard to enter all the letters, numbers and symbols of the English language with one or two key presses. However, if you’re learning the Spanish language, entering Spanish names, or keying-in addresses from Latin America or Spain, your keyboard may be inadequate for the task. Fortunately, Windows has several built-in features for handling foreign languages, without your having to spend extra cash for accessories or software. These methods only work on word processors or text boxes that can handle formatted characters. For example, Microsoft Word and WordPad can handle these procedures but the text-based Notepad cannot.

Using the CTRL Key

The easiest way to type Spanish accents and Spanish words is to combine the CTRL, punctuation and letter keys. The following are examples:

  • To enter “ó”, press the CTRL and apostrophe (') keys, and then the “o” key
  • To enter “ñ”, press the CTRL, SHIFT and tilde (~) keys, and then the “n” key.
  • To enter “ü”, press the CTRL, SHIFT and colon (:) keys, and then the “u” key.

Using ALT Codes

Another way to enter Spanish accents and Spanish words is to press the ALT key and while holding it down, type a numeric code, which also allows the entry of Spanish symbols. The following are examples

Letter Key

Á ALT + 0193

á ALT + 0225

É ALT + 0201

é ALT + 0233

Í ALT + 0205

í ALT + 0237

Ñ ALT + 0209

ñ ALT + 0241

Ó ALT + 0211

ó ALT + 0243

Ú ALT + 0218

Ü ALT + 0220

ú ALT + 0250

¿ ALT + 0191

¡ ALT + 0161

Switching to the Spanish Keyboard

If you’re typing lengthy documents in Spanish, you can temporarily switch your keyboard to Spanish letters in Windows 7.

  1. Click the Start button and then choose “Control Panel,” “Clock, Language and Region” and “Change Keyboards or Other Input Methods” under Region and Language. The Region and Language dialog box appears.
  2. Click the “Keyboards and Languages” tab, if it is not selected. Then click the “Change Keyboards” button. The Text Services and Input Language dialog box appears.
  3. Click the “Add” button, if Spanish is not showing as an installed service. The “Add Input Language” dialog box appears.
  4. Choose the Spanish language and any variants that you want to use. For example, you can click “Spanish (Mexico)” and under that choose “Latin American.” Click “OK” to close the Add Input dialog box. Note how the “EN” icon appears next to “Spanish” in the Installed Services box. Click “OK” to close the Tex Services and Input Languages dialog box. Click “OK” again to close the Region and Language dialog box.
  5. Look to the right of your task bar, where you’ll see the “EN” icon for “English.” Click that icon to display the Languages popup. Choose “ES (Spanish)” to activate the Spanish language keyboard.

Using the Spanish Keyboard

You can now type Spanish accents and letters on the Spanish keyboard as follows:

  • To enter accented vowels, press the “[“ key and then the vowel. For example, to enter “ó”, press the “[“ key and then the “o” key.
  • To enter “ñ”, press the colon (:).
  • To enter a regular question mark (?), press the underscore (_) key.
  • To enter “¿”, press the equal (=).
  • To enter “¡”, press the plus (+).

For information on typing French accents on French words, see How to Type French Accents on French Words.

© Copyright 2011 by Aurelio Locsin.

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