Accents français

Accents français

Do I have to put accents in when I'm typing?

YES.  It's the difference between sale and salé.


Can I handwrite them in black pen after printing out my paper?

Absolutely.  But if you do it at the last minute, you will miss many accents.  Typing them as you go is best.


So, how do I type accents?

There are short-cut keystrokes for all of the accents.  Try Google-ing "Windows Alt accent codes" or "Mac accent codes" to find a list. 

These work just fine, but here are two other options.


If you are using Microsoft Word:

You're typing away and need an e-accent grave.  What to do?  Find "Insert" on the toolbar and select "Symbol."  You should find all of the accents you need here in the little pop-up window.  This method is slow - you have to insert them one-by-one - but easy to do.


If you would like to change your keyboard to a French keyboard:

(For PC users.  Mac users, you'll have to figure it out on your own.  Sorry!)

Click on Start on the bottom tool bar and select Control Panel

Click Date, Time, Language & Regional Options

Click Add Other Languages

You should see a small pop-up window with three tabs: Regional Options, Languages and Advanced.  Click on the Languages tab.

Click the Details button in the Text Servies and Input Languages box

Under the Settings tab, click the Add button in the Installed Services box

Select French (France) as the Input Language and click OK

The Advanced Key Settings window should pop up, which gives you the choice of how to switch between the French and English keyboards.  The default of pressing Left Alt + Shift at the same time will allow you to switch between the two very easily.

Click Apply, and tu as fini!


Now what?

You should see a little box on the bottom toolbar of the Windows desktop with EN

Now, trying pressing Left Alt + Shift.  Did that little box change to FR?  Hey, you're keyboard is now officially French.

Try typing something.

Most of the letters are in the same place, with a few exceptions: A and Q have swapped places.  Where's the M?  The period?

Check out the numbers.  Hey!  They're accents!  (Hold down the shift key to make them numbers again.)

Using the French keyboard will save you a lot of time inserting accents, once you get the hang of it.

Search Google Images for "French keyboard layout" and print out a diagram for yourself.

Find more information and other options in an article at