Is there a way to change the press and hold character picker in a way that it automatically choose a certain character.

I'm German using an US keyboard (on purpose, I don't want to switch back to a German one) and if I press and hold 'a' I get a lot of options. I don't care about any of them but the 'ä'. I know how to eliminate the other choices (thanks to How to add characters to the press and hold character picker in OS X Lion?) but I don't even want to chose. I want to hold and press the 'a' and would love for the 'ä' to just appear without me having to choose it.


I don't think you can do this with press and hold, but you can press: option + "u" then "a" to get "ä". I find it quicker than pressing and holding the key.


There is no way to do this. The English keyboard is optimized with the set of accents that English writers use the most. (For example, the U key's default is Û in English and Ú in Spanish.)

The German keyboard may provide a more relevant set of defaults.

  • I can change the defaults and deleted every choice besides the 'ä' but I want to make it not only show up but be inserted immediately – Twiek Mar 15 '13 at 7:59

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