Wondering what a proficient, super skilled Spanish text/copy editor individual does to type accents like á and tilde's like ñ. Wondering if they, on a Mac, would use the popup that appears if you hold a character (which seems slow for a fast typer). Or if they use the built-in keyboard shortcuts for Mac or Windows (like alt+e for ´ on Mac). Or if they use vim or some other specialized text editor. Or perhaps a custom virtual keyboard overlay, which just maps the keys to something specifically useful to Spanish. Or maybe it's completely different from these options. Basically am interested to know how one does it in a way that isn't annoying like it is on the standard Mac keyboard, either with the popup or the alt codes.

  • For reference: I am a proficient typist with 170wpm, and programmer. I grew up with the Norwegian layout since I am Norwegian. I speak Spanish with my friends, and have learned to use the Spanish keyboard through school computers. At the time, at home, I'd just ignore "tildes", or copy-paste them from Google. For ñ/Ñ I'd use Alt+164/165 which I learned by heart. They don't appear too often. Now, I use US Intl for everything. I changed to it for efficient programming, but it turns out it's really comfortable. I can type Norwegian, Spanish and English on the same keyboard, with zero hazzle.
    – mazunki
    Nov 6, 2020 at 13:11

1 Answer 1


Full time, native Spanish speakers will likely use a Spanish keyboard layout. Most keyboard and laptops you buy in region where the language is widely used would also likely have a Spanish keyboard as an option or as default.

An image of what Spanish standard layout looks like:

enter image description here
(source: narod.ru)

If you're an occasional speakers of the language, you can change your keyboard layout to Spanish by changing your system keyboard settings. This obviously won't change the keys printed on the keyboard, but there's just a few keys that are different that you just have to memorise those differences.

  • Many other countries have custom keyboards too: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/QWERTY#International_variants (and that’s just for QWERTY, which is designed to limit typing speed) Oct 18, 2018 at 13:44
  • This is wrong. Europe mostly uses ISO keyboards, and not ANSI. This includes Spain, and by extension Latin America has copied it (at least from what my Latin American friends have reported to me). This means that the Return key will be two rows thick, and slightly smaller on the home row. Ç will be moved to the furthest right to the home row. Now, I have to admit I'm slightly confused by the keyboard you have shown, it includes the </> key next to the L-Shift from ISO, but otherwise seems like an ANSI keyboard. Your source is all Russian, do you know the keyboard format's name?
    – mazunki
    Nov 6, 2020 at 13:03

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