1. Education

How to Type French Accents


2 of 13

Typing French Accents - Windows: International Keyboard
For US English keyboard users, the international keyboard (which is not a physical keyboard, but rather a simple Control Panel setting) is the easiest and most convenient method for typing French accents because it maintains the QWERTY layout, with just a few changes and additions:
  • To type accent grave (à, è, etc), type ` (to the left of 1) then the vowel.
  • Accent aigu (é), type ' (single quote) then e.
  • Cédille (ç), type ' then c.
  • Circonflexe (ê), type ^ (shift + 6) then e.
  • Tréma (ö), type " (shift + ') then o.
  • To type French quotation marks « » use ctrl + alt + [ and ], respectively.
Note: The minor disadvantage of the international keyboard is that when you want to type the "helping" character (e.g., single or double quotes) by itself rather than above a vowel, you have to type the symbol then hit the space bar. For example, to type c'est, type c then ' then hit the spacebar then type e s t. It takes a little while to get used to typing that extra space when you just want to type ' or "

Troubleshooting the international keyboard
If you are plagued by strangeness such as cést when you try to type c'est, re-read the note above.

In order to use the international keyboard to type French accents, you need to select that keyboard layout.
Related Video
French Dialogues: Eating Out
  1. About.com
  2. Education
  3. French Language
  4. French Tools
  5. Teaching French
  6. Computers and French
  7. Typing French Accents with the International Keyboard

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.