How to type Spanish characters on an English keyboard

I am often asked by clients how they can type Spanish accents easily on an English computer. Although it is easy to get away with typing without any accents, it is a good idea to include them if possible as this will help you to remember which syllable to stress in a word and also because it can cause confusion; si = if, whereas = yes. el = the (for a masculine noun) but él = him/he.
Here are the easiest ways to add accented letters when typing in Spanish:

Option 1: Use the ALT key + number

Hold down the ALT key and type in the following numbers on the numerical keypad:
Small letters and punctuation marks:

á Alt + 160
é Alt + 130
í Alt + 161
ó Alt + 162
ú Alt + 163
ñ Alt + 164
ü Alt + 0252
¿ Alt + 168 or 0191
¡ Alt + 173 or 0161

Capital letters:

Á Alt + 0193
É Alt + 0201
Í Alt + 0205
Ó Alt + 0211
Ú Alt + 0218
Ü Alt + 0220

Option 2: Programming Spanish accents and punctuation marks

In Word, go to the Insert menu and then Symbol. Find and highlight the symbol you want to program such as ó. Then select the Shortcut key. Then select “Press new shortcut key”. You then choose your own key press to obtain an é. For example, I have chosen “ALT + e”. This will only work in Word. You can create documents in Word and then copy and paste to send in emails etc.

Useful tip: Avoid the red and green underlining when typing in Spanish
To temporarily hide the red and underlining in your document, you can do the following:
1. Go to Tools, click Options, then click the Spelling and Grammar tab.
2. Select Hide spelling errors in this document and Hide grammatical errors in this document check boxes.

Option 3:

If you go to this page you can easily type Spanish accents and punctuation marks using an English keyboard. Simply type your text into the box and click on the accented letter button above the box when you need an accented letter. Alternatively, just press the Ctrl key and the letter you require at the same time. Once you have finished just copy and paste your text to a document or email.

Option 4: Install the International Keyboard

Windows XP: Go to the Start menu, Control Panel, click Regional and Language Options. Select the Languages tab and click the “Details …” button. Under “Installed Services” click “Add…” In the pull-down menu, select United States-International as the default language. Click OK.
Windows Vista: From the Control Panel, select “Clock, Language and Region.” Under Regional and Language Options, choose “Change keyboard or other input method.” Select the General tab. Under “Installed Services” click “Add…” Find the United States-International option and select it. In the pull-down menu, select United States-International as the default language. Click OK.
Using the International Keyboard press the right-ALT key and another key simultaneously. E.g. for an ñ, press the right-ALT key and an “n” at the same time. For capitals, press 3 keys – a, right-ALT and the shift key. For ¡, press right-ALT and the 1 key. For ¿, press right-ALT and the question mark key.

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