How to Type Umlauts in Word

Type Umlauts in Word

by | Dec 16, 2023 | Useful Tech

Puzzling about the where and how of inserting umlaut characters (like ‘ö’ and ‘ï’) in Word documents? Find out here how to type (upper- and lowercase) umlauts in Word for Windows, Mac, mobile and online.

First, They Entered the U.S. with Rock and Dust

Says the customs declaration filed diligently at Honolulu airport on July 24, 1969, by a lieutenant colonel, a colonel and a “commander” of the U.S. armed forces: they entered the U.S. with “moon rock and moon dust samples.”

For the Apollo 11 astronauts, like anybody else entering the U.S. through an airport (in their case Honolulu airport after splashing down in the Pacific ocean) went through customs, and the appropriate form was found, filled and filed with its i’s dotted and t’s crossed.

With that in mind—want to dot your ï’s and, well, dot your ÿ’s and ü’s to boot?

How to Type Umlauts in Word for Windows

Using the Word Umlaut Keyboard Shortcut

Time needed: 1 minute

To insert an umlaut character in a document using Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel and other Office applications for Windows:

  1. Position the cursor where you want to insert the umlaut character.

  2. Press Ctrl : (colon).

  3. Now press the character to which you want to apply the umlaut “dots”.

    Example: Press Shift A to produce Ä.

Using US-International Keyboard or Windows Quick Accent

In Word, you can, of course, also use all the ways in which Windows lets you type umlaut characters, including the US-International keyboard layout and Quick Accent from PowerToys.

How to Type Umlauts in Word for Mac

Set up Keyboard Shortcuts for Umlauts in Word for Mac

Word for macOS does not come with its own keyboard shortcuts for umlaut characters. You can easily set up your own shortcuts in Word, though.

To create a keyboard shortcut for typing an umlaut in Word for Mac:

  1. Select Insert | Advanced Symbol… from the menu in Word.
  2. Go to the Symbols tab.
  3. Locate and highlight the umlaut for which you want to set up the shortcut.
    Finding umlauts: Umlaut characters gather in the (normal text) section.
    To each its own: You have, alas, to create separate keyboard shortcuts for all umlauts you want to use regularly.
  4. Click Keyboard Shortcut.
  5. Now click in the Press new keyboard shortcut field.
  6. Type the shortcut you want to use for the umlaut character.
    Two parts: You can use a combination of two shortcuts used after another.
    Example: Press first Control . (period), then U to assign the keyboard shortcut Control . followed by U.
  7. Click Assign.
  8. Now click OK.
  9. Finally, click Close.

Use a Custom Umlaut Keyboard Shortcut in Word for Mac

Now, to type a character with umlauts in Word for Mac using your custom shortcut:

  1. Put the text insertion cursor where you want to type the umlaut.
  2. Press Control . (period).
  3. Now, immediacy afterwards, press the character to which you want to add the umlaut marks.
    Example: Press Control . followed by Shift E to insert Ë.

Use the Office Symbol Dialog to Enter Umlauts

In Word, Excel, Outlook and other apps in the Microsoft Office suite, you can also use the Symbol dialog itself to insert umlaut characters:

  1. Select Insert | Advanced Symbol… from the menu.
    Using the ribbon: You can also click Advanced Symbol on the Insert ribbon tab.
  2. Now choose (normal text) as the Font:.
  3. Highlight the umlaut character you want to insert.
  4. Click Insert.
    Using mouse or trackpad: You can also double-click the character to insert.

Use the Mac’s Built-In Ways to Type Umlauts

You can, of course, also use all the ways a Mac offers to enter umlaut characters right in Word for Mac.

How to Type Umlauts in Word Online

To insert umlaut characters in Word Online (at office.com):

When there is no convenient method of typing umlauts on your platform, you can employ the built-in symbol dialog.

To insert umlauts using only Word Online:

  1. Position the text cursor where you want to insert the umlaut character.
  2. Go to the Insert ribbon tab.
  3. Select Symbol | More Symbols….
  4. Now highlight the umlaut character you want to use in the Symbol dialog
  5. Click or tap Insert.
    Double-click: You can also double-click any character to insert it.

(How to type umlauts in Word tested with Word for Windows # and Word for Mac 16.80; updated December 2023)

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