Accents in word

Black country or French accents?

No, I’m not referring to the mellifluous tones of my Black Country accents, here, but the little marks above letters (usually in foreign languages, but occasionally in English, too when we’ve appropriated a word – such as “Neé” to indicate a lady’s unmarried name).

When I’m not helping people become more productive with Microsoft Office, I spend some of my time researching into the Second World War; in particular, the history of 18 Allied servicemen who were captured following D Day in 1944 & at some point were held as prisoners of war by the German Army. I came across them through a friend who now owns the old bakery in a French village & its accompanying grain store where these chaps wrote their names back in 1944. The full story to date can be found here:

Researching this story involves me writing letters & emails in French where I have to use these various accents & when I was asked by a friend how to get the “e acute accent” for a spelling of “Neé” I thought: Ah hah! There’s a topic for the next blog! So here it is…

Adding an accent in Word

Having selected the letter that you want to replace…

On the Insert Tab…

Select Symbol

Select more symbols

As you start to insert symbols they’ll begin to appear on the recently used symbol grid

The more symbols grid shows a selection of options & you may need to use the scroll bar to find the ones that you need

Ah… here are the French ones

Having found the letter & accent that you want to use

click insert

as you can see, the symbol is inserted

click close to shut down the grid, or select another accent to use

If you’re going to be using a lot of accented letters, then it may be worthwhile to insert all of the ones that you will be using into a blank document as they will then appear in the initial recently used symbol grid as shown above

Shortcuts to accents

If you prefer to use shortcut keys on your keyboard, then the following is a “starter for 10″…

What about emails?

As Outlook now uses Word as it’s editor, the process is very similar if you need an accent in an email…

Select letter to replace

Choose Insert tab


More symbols

When the dialog box appears, then…

Use scollbar to move down through various options until you see the accented characters

Pick the one that you want

Click insert (cancel will then be replaced by CLOSE which you then click