If you’ve ever eaten at a French or Mexican restaurant, and afterwards tried to tell a friend over email or text message what you had, it’s likely that you had difficulty in spelling out the name of the dish, since both French and Spanish have special accented characters. Many words in the English language, like cliché and Résumé, that originate from French, make use of accented letters, and when writing emails or using them as part of ordinary everyday writing, you might face difficulty because your keyboard doesn’t have a quick option for printing these characters. For Mac users, these options are actually easily accessible in any app that allows text input.
Regardless of which app you’re typing in, whenever you need to insert an accented letter, hold down that key on your keyboard (for example, an i or e), and a small bubble will pop up with all available accentuations. The letters are numbered, so you can use either the arrow keys and Enter to insert the correct character, or hit the corresponding number key to insert it.
This method is much easier than using the Option key, as it does not give you the complete set of letters associated with a certain alphabet. Ideally, autocorrect should be able to detect when you write a word that has an accented letter in it, but perhaps, it is something you would find in a sophisticated word processor. From an OS comparison point of view, Mac fares better than Windows in this regard, since you won’t get any such facility in Microsoft’s offering for stock apps like, say, Notepad or Wordpad, whereas Apple has done accented characters universal across OS X.
[via Cult of Mac]