Accented letters in HTML, TeX, and MS Word

I frequently need to look up how to add diacritical marks to letters in HTML, TeX, and Microsoft Word, though not quite frequently enough to commit the information to my long-term memory. So today I wrote up a set of notes on adding accents for future reference. Here’s a chart summarizing the notes.

AccentHTMLTeXWord
gravegrave\`CTRL + `
acuteacute\'CTRL + '
circumflexcirc\^CTRL + ^
tildetidle\~CTRL + SHIFT + ~
umlautuml\"CTRL + SHIFT + :
cedillacedil\cCTRL + ,
æ, Ææ, Æ\ae, \AECTRL + SHIFT + & + a or A
ø, Øø, Ø\o, \OCTRL + / + o or O
å, Åå, Å\aa, \AACTRL + SHIFT + @ + a or A

The notes go into more details about how accents function in each environment and what limitations each has. For example, LaTeX will let you combine any accent with any letter, but MS Word and HTML only support letter/accent combinations that are common in spoken languages.

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One thought on “Accented letters in HTML, TeX, and MS Word

  1. It’s worth noting that you still have to watch your encodings (meaning much of the tex-processing chain) to make sure you get the glyph you want instead of a roman glyph with a generic accent (combining diacritical) with generic spacing dumped atop it. Better to edit in utf8 and type the character directly if you want to use accented characters reflecting the very careful work of typographers instead of the better-than-nothing tex best-guesses.

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