Remember last week’s Mac tip about using the Option key to type letters with accent marks? That was clever, I thought, but a helpful reader has chimed in with a much better idea.

Here’s the message I got from Carole R.:

You have just answered a query re accents on letters on the keyboard, which is quite correct, but I have been adding accents in a much easier way.

If you hold down the letter (e.g. “e”) you will get the option to select an accent. Also applies to a, n, o. Haven’t tried any others.

I went ahead and tried Carol’s tip, and yes—she’s absolutely right.

Press a hold a letter key, and a little pop-up will appear with a range of options for accent marks.

Use the arrow keys to select the accent mark you want, then press the Return key or the space bar to type it.

The trick works with vowels and consonants alike, or just about any character that could possibly have an accent mark.

Brilliant—and great catch, Carol. Thank you!

Bonus tip

Back in the day, holding down a key on your Mac or PC keyboard yielded a different result: instead of accent marks, the letter or symbol would appear repeatedly on the screen.

Want that feature back? Here’s a fix from Apple’s support forum, although it requires some experience with the Mac’s “Terminal” feature.

Click here for more Mac tips!