Whether you are making web & mobile flashcards in Brainscape or just typing a love letter to your Portuguese sweetheart, it's often helpful to be able to pop the occasional ç or é or ñ into your text without having to go searching one at a time in some "symbols" menu.

Sure, you probably already know that the easiest way to do so is to just configure your entire keyboard into that language at the system preferences level.  But that can also throw off your overall typing flow by throwing a random comma when you're just trying to type a friggin' m.  (I'm looking at you, crazy French keyboard.)

So . . . . Brainscape has put together this handy guide of keyboard commands for the most common foreign language characters (in the Latin alphabet at least), from which we recommend memorizing the ones you're most likely to need in the second language that you're dabbling in.  

[For those with two keyboard steps, just be sure to let go of the keys after the first step before typing the character on the second step, and it should work.]

Common foreign special character keyboard commands

Character

Mac Command

PC Command

à, è, ì, ò, ù

Option+` , [the letter]

CTRL+` , [the letter]

á, é, í, ó, ú, ý

Option+e , [the letter]

CTRL+' , [the letter]

â, ê, î, ô, û

Option+i , [the letter]

CTRL+SHIFT+^, [the letter]

ã, ñ, õ

Option+n , [the letter]

CTRL+SHIFT+~ , [the letter]

ä, ë, ï, ö, ü, ÿ

Option+u , [the letter]

CTRL+SHIFT+: , [the letter]

å

Option+a , a

CTRL+SHIFT+@, a

æ

Option+'

CTRL+SHIFT+&, a

œ

Option+q

CTRL+SHIFT+&, o

ç

Option+c

CTRL+[comma],  c

¿

Option-shift+/

ALT+CTRL+SHIFT+?

¡

Option+1

ALT+CTRL+SHIFT+!

ß

Option+s

CTRL+SHIFT+&, s


There are, of course, thousands more potential foreign characters that may be used in eastern or less-spoken languages, for which you will probably want to either configure your keyboard into that language completely.  OR … as I often do … you could always just "google" the character, and they copy/paste it into the document or flashcard that you are creating.

Either way, best of luck on whatever project you're working on!