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Tip of the Week: How to Type Special Characters Like Accents

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What’s the difference between a cafe and a café? By definition, there’s no difference, but to a coffee aficionado, that symbol above the ‘e’ makes all the difference. But how do you type special characters like this? Here are two easy ways.

Copy/Paste What You Need
One way to type special characters is to cheat by copying and pasting. To do this, use Google Search to find the word you need with its special character. For example, if you search for “cafe,” then you’ll inevitably see the word “café” in the results. Simply copy and paste the word you need into your document. Just make sure you paste it as plain text. Otherwise, you might have conflicting fonts.

Although, in order to have the pasted word match the style of the rest of your document, you may have to reformat it. To do this, highlight the word and clear its formatting with Ctrl+\. Next, adjust the font, font size, color, and other style properties to match the rest of your text.

Use Alt Codes
The average PC user might not know about Alt codes. Basically, Alt codes allow you to enter in a string of characters while holding down the Alt key. When you release it, it should result in a special character. Just be sure that you’re using the number pad on the right-hand side of the keyboard. Otherwise, if you’re using the normal numbers on the top of the keyboard, it won’t work. You can find a list of codes here.

Now that you know how to type special characters, you’ll never again be limited to only what you can see on your keyboard. For more useful tech tips, subscribe to Tektonic’s blog and be sure to check back every week!

Date: January 13th, 2016, Author: Jorge Rojas

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