Teaching and Learning with Technology

Computing With Accents and Foreign Scripts

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Non-English (Virtual) Keyboards
iOS – iPhone/iPad

View Macintosh Instructions

The iOS system used to power iPhone, iPad and iTouch comes with a variety of virtual keyboards and accent input utilities as described beloe


This Page

  1. Available Keyboards & Applications
  2. Activate Keyboards
    On Student Computing Labs
  3. Switch Keyboards
  4. View Keyboard Layouts
  5. Extended Keyboard Accent Codes Accents Section
  6. Unicode Hex Input
  7. Additional Keyboard Downloads
  8. Unicode Character Palette New Page

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Input Accents

It is possible to input a wide variety of accented letters on the default virtual keyboard following the instructions below:

  1. Open an application which requires the virtual keyboard such as Mail or Notes.
  2. Hold down on a base letter key such as E, A or N. Options for accented variants will appear.
    NOTE: If the desired accented variant is not available, switch to a different language's keyboard which may include the appropriate symbol.
  3. Drag your finger to the appropriate accented letter to input it.

Options for accented a including plain a a-grave, a-acute, A-E, a with ring on top and others.
Options for accented "a" on the U.S. English virtual keyboard.

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Virtual Keyboards

Available Keyboards

The following virtual keyboards are available as of iPhone 5

Language Keyboards in iPhone 5
  • Arabic
  • Bulgarian
  • Catalan
  • Cherokee
  • Chinese (Simplified, Traditional with handwriting input for bothl)
  • Croatian
  • Czech
  • Danish
  • Dutch
  • Emoji (input emoticons)
  • Estonian
  • Finnish
  • Flemish
  • French (France/Canada/Switzerland)
  • German (Germany/Switzerland)
  • Hawaiian
  • Hebrew
  • Hungarian
  • Icelandic
  • Indonesian
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Korean


  • Latvian
  • Lithuanian
  • Macedonian
  • Malay
  • Polish
  • Portuguese (Brazil, Portugal)
  • Romanian
  • Russian
  • Serbian (Cyrillic, Latin)
  • Slovak
  • Spanish
  • Swedish
  • Thai
  • Tibetan
  • Turkish
  • Ukranian
  • Vietnamese


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Activate Keyboards

To activate different keyboards in iPhone, do the following.

  1. Click the Settings app on your device.
  2. Click General, then International, then Keyboards in the "Settings" options.

    General button in Settings   Click on International   Keyboard button
  3. In the "Keyboards" window, click Add New Keyboard.
    Add Keyboards
  4. Select the language you want to add.
  5. Within each language, select the keyboard option you want to use.
  6. Click the Keyboards button at he top to return to your list.
  7. To switch keyboards see instructions in the next section.

Deactivate Keyboards

  1. In the Settings app, navigate to your list of keyboards by clicking General, then International, then Keyboards.
  2. Click the Edit button at the top of the window.
  3. Click the red dash button next to the keyboard you wish to remove. A Delete key will appear.
  4. Click the Delete key.
  5. Click the Done key at the top to exit the screen.

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Switch Keyboards

To switch keyboards:

  1. Make sure you have activated all the appropriate keyboards following the instructions in the previous section.
  2. Open an application which requires the virtual keyboard such as Mail or Notes.
  3. When the virtual keyboard opens, it should now include a globe icon before the space key to indicate multiple keyboards are available. Click the globe button until the appropriate keyboard is activated.

Virtual keyboard with globe icon

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Last Modified: Tuesday, 04-Jun-2013 12:41:18 EDT