Typing accented characters

Hi everyone,

I was wondering how people get round typing accents on a non-Portuguese keyboard. Up until now I’ve tended to copy accented characters from elsewhere and paste them into my text, because I can never be bothered with ALT codes.

However, today I discovered a free app called Autohotkey, which works fine with Windows 10. It allows you to write small scripts that automate tasks, and after learning how to use it for a couple of hours, I managed to write simple codes to add accents to letters.

So now I have the following shortcuts:

  • Left arrow + letter = an acute accent (á, é, í, ó, ú)

  • Right arrow + letter = a grave accent (à)

  • Up arrow + letter = a circumflex (â, ê, ô)

  • Down arrow + letter = a cedilha (ç)

  • Alt + letter = a tilde (ã, õ)

It works for capitals too! (À, É, Ó)

The only downside I’ve found so far is that the arrows no longer work as arrows for scrolling up and down text, or moving left and right along a line. However, the arrows on the number pad still allow me to scroll.

If anyone is interested in trying it out or finding out more, I’ll happily share the code, just let me know. I’d also like to hear about any other work-arounds other people are using! :grinning:



I’ve made another system using hotkeys that I like better:

  • Letter then "1 "adds an acute accent

  • Letter then “2” adds a circumflex

  • Letter then “3” adds a grave accent

  • Letter then “4” adds a tilde

  • Letter then “5” adds a cedilha

This system means you don’t have to hold keys down, you just type them in sequence. Also you type the letter first, then think about which accent to add, which seems more logical to me. And the arrows now keep their proper function, too :grinning:

1 Like

On a MacBook Pro running OS 10.14.5 I can select Keyboard Preferences from System Preferences > Input Sources and upload a Portuguese keyboard. Then I can easily swap from British keyboard to Portuguese and vice-versa and show a keyboard viewer on screen to use for the Portuguese. I have no idea if Windows 10 has something similar.


Yes, you can load other keyboards in Windows, and view a touch keyboard, but to access accented characters you either have to click on the touch keyboard, which means using the mouse, slowing things down a lot and cluttering up the screen with a floating window, or memorise where the accents are and deal with the fact that some of the punctuation doesn’t correspond with the keys on a UK keyboard.

Using hotkeys you can keep the keyboard you’re used to and type accents directly from the keyboard without faffing around with a mouse :grinning:

Hi Jeremy. I am super happy with a free download called ‘AX’ (http://vulpeculox.net/ax/). They also explain that a virus warning pops up since AX hugs your keyboard like a trojan apparently. I have been using it for over a year without any issues except for any restarts to the system when you will need to set the language to ‘Portuguese’ again, in the dialogue box that pops up for language settings. All you have to do is toggle between various accents by pressing F8 when on the letter (e.g. i you want the cidilla on c, just press F8 and the accent will appear on the ‘c’ automatically (like so …ç … i just did it!). The same applies for caps.
Hope that helps.

1 Like

On Windows, with a numeric keypad, the following works.

Hold the alt key down, and then on the numeric keypad, type the 4 numbers listed below. Then release the alt key. This will insert the character in question. I keep a cheat sheet in front of me while typing, and have memorized most of the ‘chords’. But then again, I always was an emacs guy :slight_smile:

À 0192
à 0224
Á 0193
á 0225
à 0195
ã 0227
â 0226
É 0201
é 0233
Ê 0202
ê 0234
Í 0205
í 0237
Ó 0211
ó 0243
Ô 0212
ô 0244
Õ 0213
õ 0245
Ú 0218
ú 0250
Ç 0119
ç 0231
€ 0128
« 0171
» 0187
— 8212
‒ 8210


Hi everyone,
I’ve added the Portuguese keyboard to windows 10, so now I just switch between the English and Portuguese keyboard layouts as needed. It takes a little getting used to initially as you need to remember where the accents are etc., but I’ve found it to be such a time saver now that I’m used to it. Here’s a YouTube link showing you how it’s done: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d2brLeGFqQ8. Also, this link shows you what the Portuguese layout looks like, which may be useful: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:KB_Portuguese.svg. Hope it helps.:grin:


Adding to this - In addition to the unicode character method, I’ve now set up PT as a second language on the Win10 machine.

Settings -> Time & Language -> Language -> Preferred Languages
Add Portuguese (Portugal)

Then in the Settings search bar, enter ‘Advanced’ and select Advanced Keyboard Settings. From there, select Language Bar Options, and then on the Language Bar tab, select Docked in the taskbar.

This will put a ‘POR’ option in addition to the ENG (for me) option in the taskbar. Now I can easily switch between keyboard layouts; either with o rato, or Left Alt + Shift (see the ‘Advanced Key Settings’ in the same advanced window).

To see the virtual keyboard, type: winkey+ctrl+o - this brings up the on-screen keyboard in the current lang setting.


Great tips guys thanks. Just linked to this thread from a help article I just created, as this question comes up from time to time in our help ticket system. https://help.practiceportuguese.com/article/42-typing-portuguese-accents