How to enter international characters

There are various ways to type international characters on a PC or a Mac, depending on the specific characters you need and your operating system settings. Here are a few methods you can use to type international characters on both platforms.

On a Mac (macOS)

Accent Menu

On newer macOS versions, you can press and hold a key (like e, u, i, etc.) to bring up an accent menu. Then, you can select the accented character you need by clicking on it or pressing the corresponding number.

Using the Option Key

Press and hold the Option key, then press another key to enter an international character.

For example, to type é, press and hold Option, press e, release both keys and press e again.

Using Input Sources

You can add input sources for different languages in System Preferences under Keyboard > Input Sources.

After adding, you can switch between different input sources using a menu bar option or a keyboard shortcut (Control + Spacebar by default).

Character Viewer

macOS includes a Character Viewer (previously known as the Character Palette) that allows you to find and insert various international characters.

You can access the Character Viewer by clicking on the Input menu in the menu bar (if enabled) or by pressing Control + Command + Spacebar.

On a PC (Windows)

Using Alt Codes

You can type international characters by pressing and holding the Alt key while typing a specific numeric code on the numeric keypad.

For example, to type é, you press and hold Alt, then type 0233 on the numeric keypad, and release Alt.

Using the US International Keyboard Layout

You can switch your keyboard layout to the US International layout, which allows you to type international characters by pressing the appropriate combination of keys.

For example, to type é, you would press ' (apostrophe) followed by e.

Using Character Map

Windows includes a Character Map utility that lets you find and select international characters, which can then be copied and pasted into your document.

Keyboard Shortcuts and Language Settings

You can add additional language keyboards in your Windows settings and switch between them using keyboard shortcuts (usually Alt + Shift or Windows + Spacebar).