The onscreen keyboard on the Apple iPhone is even more versatile than you might have realised as it supports over twenty different languages. English speakers may find they need to use certain special characters, like an accent mark, even when writing in English, since so many of our words are adopted from other languages. It’s easy to do using the hidden characters on the keyboard.
How to Use Special Characters
To access the iPhone’s hidden characters, hold down the base letter and after a couple of seconds, a pop up menu of the available special characters will appear. Slide your finger to the symbol that you want, let go and the character will be inserted into your text. This works for both lower case and capital letters.
What Special Characters are Available?
Here is a list of all the base letters and special characters each one supports:
Special characters hidden beneath letters:
A: à á â ä æ ã å
C: ç ć č
E: è é ê ë ę ė
I: î ï ì í į
N: ñ ń
O: ô ö ò ó õ œ ø
S: ß ś š
U: û ü ù ú
Y: ŷ ÿ
Z: ź ž ż
Special characters hidden beneath letters and symbols:
0: ° (degree symbol)
-: — (longer dash)
£: € $ ¥ ₩
$: € £ ¥ ₩
‘: ‘ ‘
“: ” ” „ « »
.: … (ellipses)
And if you look for the special symbols underneath the .com button on the iPhone’s keyboard, you will see that you have numerous additional options including .net, .edu and org.
This tool may be useful for bilingual people. If you’re going to write an entire message in one language, then you can choose the keyboard that is most suitable for it. However, many bilingual people may want to insert words from a second or third language into a message written in their native tongue. For example, a Spanish speaker may want to enter ¡Ay Caramba! in the middle of an English message. The hidden characters make it simple to access that upside down exclamation mark without having to switch over to a Spanish keyboard.
You may also be interested in our article on accessing the iPhone’s International keyboard.