I bought the new iPad Pro 10.5" and with it the Apple Smart Keyboard with the US Layout. Now I am constantly switching between writing in german, english and some french.

Therefore I would like to access special characters like in macOS or in iOS: enter image description here

So how can I access the special character menu via the Apple Smart Keyboard?

2 Answers 2


You should be able to use the standard Apple option key shortcuts, such as + e, then e produces é. One list is here.

For the german "Umlaut", it is:

+ u (for Umlaut) and then the letter (like a, u or o)

So: + u and then a produces “ä”

  • For õ, ã, and ñ, ⌥n then the letter creates the character.
    – J F
    Jun 30, 2017 at 11:20
  • No, sorry, this isn’t the answer. This ONLY works with the English keyboard. It does NOT work with the other language keyboards. Apple is so limited sometimes.
    – Sephethus
    Apr 4, 2021 at 21:56
  • @TomGewecke I need this for the spanish keyboard. It's not working on the spanish keyboard. If I'm on my MacBook Pro it works to just hold down the key and hit a number but on the iPad the option+letter doesn't work unless it's in English.
    – Sephethus
    Apr 8, 2021 at 17:24
  • @Sephethus. Aha, yes the Spanish layout has direct keys for all those accents, so the option system is not included. I will add another answer with an image that shows that. Apr 8, 2021 at 17:39

If you are not using the US layout as in the original question, the keyboard shortcuts for making accents may be different. For example, on the Apple Spanish ISO layout, the keys to the right of P and Ñ have the grave, circumflex, umlaut, and acute diacritics. For the tilde on letters other N, you use Option Ñ. You type the diacritics first and then the base letter. They have an orange border in the image below to indicate they are dead keys for those accents.

enter image description here

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