How to Make Spanish Accents

«Ortografía De La Lengua Española» 2010

Just how do I make the á é í ó ú ñ ¿ ¡ ?

There are many ways to make Spanish accent marks and characters on your computer or device.  It depends on what computer or device you are using, as it is different for PCs, Macs, iPads, Chromebooks, etc. Even on a PC, for example, there are several ways you can do it, including changing your keyboard and using ALT + numbers.

The best way is to google it, such as “how to make Spanish accents on a ___PC/iPad/Mac, etc._____”  You can then choose what is best for you. I have started out giving you some ideas, but this is in no way a complete list.

The easiest way that works for anybody with internet access on any device is to go to Just type in what you want in Spanish (including letters with accents, ¿, ¡, ñ, etc.) and then cut and paste into where you need them.


Follow this link for a great description on setting up your International Keyboard. You can also get an add-on for your Chrome browser.  There are many available, so just find one that works well for your needs.


With newer Macs, typing vowels with accents is simple: just press and hold the letter you want to accent. A pop-up menu will come up with all the possible accents. Select the accent you need or press the corresponding number.

For ñ, press and hold the alt key (sometimes known as option). While still holding alt/option, press n. Wait for the ˜ symbol to appear (highlighted in yellow). Now let go of both keys and press n again.

For the upside down question mark, press and hold alt/option + shift. While holding alt/option + shift, press ?.

The keyboard combination for the ¡ symbol may change depending on which computer you’re using. To find it on your keyboard, press and hold the alt/option key. While still holding alt/option, play around pressing a few keys. You’ll see a few random symbols come up, like ∆º¬øæ… Keep going until you find ¡

Smart Phones

To type Spanish accents and characters on your smartphone, just press and hold the letters or symbols and a menu will pop up. Find the character you want and you are set to go!

Microsoft Office

If you’re using Microsoft Office, you can add accents to vowels by pressing and holding the following keys together: Ctrl, followed by ‘ and then the vowel you want to accent.

For example, to put an accent over the letter a, press: Ctrl + ‘ + a =  á


Here are some very thorough directions on how to install the international keyboard your PC.

ASCII Symbols

On my PC, I personally use a method I have used for over 20 years – the ASCII symbols. (There are easier methods depending on your device, but this one works for me.)

You must have a keyboard with a number pad with the “num lock” enabled.

If you want to write an ñ first we have to know the ASCII code which is alt 164.

To write an ñ press and hold the ALT key. While holding down the ALT key, enter the 3-digit decimal code for the extended ASCII character you want to generate (in this case 164) then release the ALT key. What I like about this method is that you should be able to do this in any program.

Here are the different ASCII symbols.

á  160      é 130   í 161 ó  162 ú 163

ñ  164     ¿ 168     ¡173


As I said at the beginning, there are so many ways to add accents on vowels or other Spanish characters. If you did not find a system that works for you or your device, Googling it usually does the trick!

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