Tips for Typing in Spanish (PC/Mac)

Students, have you ever tried to write a paper for Spanish on your computer, only to get frustrated with how difficult it is to put in accents, find the ñ or the ¿, or check for spelling and grammar errors?  Well here are a few simple tips to make it a whole lot easier to type in Spanish on your home computer.

Enable Spanish language editing in Microsoft Word
If you’re a Microsoft Word user, you can easily set up your computer to perform spelling and grammar check when you’re typing in Spanish.  This website can give you detailed instructions on how to add Spanish proofing capabilities to your computer:  This works for a Mac as well as a PC

Use the United States-International keyboard layout
This setting allows you to easily add accents while typing, without having to know any special Alt+# codes or copy and paste from the character map, or any of those other rather time-consuming methods.  For help in enabling this setting, visit this website, find your operating system, and follow the instructions:

Once you have this layout enabled, your keyboard will behave a little differently.  To type é now, for example, all you need to do is hit the apostrophe key, ‘, followed immediately by the “e”.  For the ñ, just type the ~ symbol (SHIFT + `) followed by the “n”.  Other helpful shortcuts then are ALT + SHIFT + / for the ¿ symbol, and ALT + CTRL + 1 for the ¡ symbol.  This keyboard setting can take a little getting used to, but believe me, it’s definitely worth it!  For more detailed information on the new keyboard layout, check out this website:

Hint: if you’re a Mac user, this won’t work quite the same for you, but there are some helpful shortcuts for adding accents on a Mac listed on that first website I mentioned.

These are just some of the tips and ideas we teachers/tutors at Pacific Learning Academy research and study and bring to our sessions to help our students get the most out of their learning/homework time. Contact us at or 425-562-3545 for your free consultation!

January 12, 2012

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