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Fada Signs, or Accents (á, Á, ó, Ó, ú, Ú, í, Í, é, É)

•• Published: Nov 26, 2013

When I set out to spread news of my new address I made a startling discovery, a lot of people do not know how to find the fada on their keyboard. The fada denotes long vowels in the irish language and appears regularly in names and the Irish language in the general. There are many ways to find the fada on a key board. I’ll list the simplest here and give a link to the scriobh.ie website for other methods. Indeed! I was rather naughty, I borrowed freely from the scriobh site, do check it out too.


On the Mac

There are two ways:

Designate the keyboard as Irish / Gaeilge. To write a síneadh fada, just press the normal vowel key while the ALT is selected, and that’s it.

If you have not selected an Irish keyboard: To obtain the fada, one needs to select the Optionkey at the same time as the key efollowed by the vowel that needs the fada.

For example: selecting Option together with e, and then the letter a = á

… and so on with the other vowels.

If you need a capital letter with a fada, follow the same sequence along with pressing the Shiftkey.

For example: selecting Option together with e, and then Shift together with a = Á

… and so on with the other vowels



In Windows

You can put a fada on a vowel (aoui, agus e) by pressing the key “Alt Gr”, and keeping it pressed, before and while the appropriate key is pressed for the vowel. An áóúí and é will be obtained in those cases.

If capital letters are required, one must press Alt Gr at the same time as the Shift key, and keep them pressed while then selecting the appropriate vowel. An ÁÓÚÍ and É is obtained in these cases.

 There are other ways too, but the above mentioned technique is the most easy. It is possible, from within MS Word, for example, to select Insert from the menu, and then Symbol to place any character from a broad range, including vowels with a fada. In OpenOffice Writer, you need to select Insert and Special


Character to acheive the same result.


Max OS X Hints

This is handy for anyone using diacritics of any type.


Yet Another Way …

If you cannot implement the above methodology, on account, for example, of being on a computer in a country with a different keyboard (or just too lazy!), you can visit the following site:

Fada signs: accentuate.us

For writers of the Irish language the NASCANNA keyboard


The name of my new house is Bád Aeir which means Flying boat and is a reference to the U S  Naval Air Station that stood on the site of my new abode and the surrounding area. U S N A S began life under the eye of the British Admiralty January 1918 and was completed by the Americans coming into full commission by November 1918. Due to post 1916 activity it was necessary for the knowledge of the bases possible existence a secret. I’ve lived with the artifacts and photos since childhood. I researched the stations contemporary publications in 1991 for my college thesis. It has been amusing where bits of my college paper have been regurgitated over the years.


Deirdre ní Dhubhghaill

2 responses to “Fada Signs, or Accents (á, Á, ó, Ó, ú, Ú, í, Í, é, É)”

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  2. Anonymous says:

    Thanks a lot for sharing!

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