How to Use Accented Letters in Microsoft Excel

In written language, diacritics, or accent marks, are used in certain words to indicate a particular pronunciation or tone. They can also change the meaning of a word, making their inclusion particularly important.

If you don’t have a keyboard with accented letters on it, you might wonder how you get accented letters in computer applications like Microsoft Excel.

Thankfully, there’s a few tricks you can use to insert these symbols. In this article, we’ll show you how.

How to Insert Accented Letters in Microsoft Excel

You can insert accented letters in Microsoft Excel by selecting one from the Insert Symbol window. Here’s how, step-by-step:

  1. Open Microsoft Excel and create a blank workbook or open an existing one.
  2. Select/highlight the cell you wish to add an accented letter to. You can edit the placement later.
  3. Click the Insert tab in the Ribbon bar at the top of excel and then click Symbol at the far right.
    Microsoft Excel Symbol Under Insert Tab
  4. In the Symbol window that appears, use the Font dropdown to choose your font.
    Microsoft Excel Font Dropdown in Insert Symbol Window
  5. Scroll through the list and select the accented letter you wish to insert and then click the Insert button.
    Microsoft Excel Accented Letter Selected in Insert Symbol Window

Inserting Letters with Accents Using Alt Key Codes

Another way you can insert accented letters in Microsoft Excel is by using Alt Codes. On Windows systems, Alt Codes allow you to insert accented letters and other symbols using the Alt key on your keyboard and the numbers on your keypad.

To type an Alt Code symbol, hold the Alt key, type the number of the symbol you want on your numpad, and then release the Alt key. Below is a list of common alt codes you can use to type accented letters in Windows.

If you’re using a Mac, you can type accented letters using the Option key.

Accented LetterAlt Code
àAlt + 0224
èAlt + 0232
ìAlt + 0236
òAlt + 0242
ùAlt + 0249
áAlt + 0225
éAlt + 0233
íAlt + 0237
óAlt + 0243
úAlt + 0250
ýAlt + 0253
âAlt + 0226
êAlt + 0234
îAlt + 0238
ôAlt + 0244
ûAlt + 0251
ãAlt + 0227
ñAlt + 0241
õAlt + 0245
äAlt + 0228
ëAlt + 0235
ïAlt + 0239
öAlt + 0246
üAlt + 0252
ÿAlt + 0255

For a full list, including capitalized versions, see Penn State University’s site on Alt Codes for Windows.

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