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How to type the letter ñ on all your devices

Berges Institute • Mar 8, 2023 • 1 minute
Updated Jun 30, 2023
How to type the letter ñ on all your devices
The Graf Method for Spanish Language

Download a PDF version of The Graf Method for Spanish Language, Vol.1 for free!

In this volume, we discuss the alphabet, definite and indefinite articles, and verbs ser and estar, among other topics.

The letter ñ is unique to Spanish. It represents a voiced palatal nasal sound that also exists in many other languages. Although ñ is obviously not present in the English alphabet, we see it more and more in borrowed terms, like piña colada, jalapeño, and piñata.

It first appeared during the Middle Ages, when monks would write a double n on top of each other to save scroll space. Today, some people and some typefaces present the "top n" either as a little lowercase n or as a straight horizontal line.

Besides representing the voiced palatal nasal, ñ often represents the identity of the Spanish language itself.

In the early 90s, the European Economic Community (EEC) tried to eliminate the letter from computer keyboards to make them more uniform. Colombian Nobel Prize laureate Gabriel García Márquez labeled the proposal as "scandalous." Eventually, the Spanish government approved a decree that made the inclusion of the letter on keyboards mandatory.

If you are typing in Spanish, you're going to need to enter the letter ñ eventually. Here's how to do it on each device:

Windows computer

Press CTRL + SHIFT + ~ (TILDE), release, and press N.

Mac computer

Press OPTION + N, release, and press N.

iPhone, iPad, Microsoft Surface, Android device

Touch and hold N, slide your finger to choose Ñ.

Pretty easy, right?

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