On Windows, Spanish characters can be typed by holding down the ALT key and using the numeric keypad to the right of the keyboard. On Macs, holding down the Option key inserts an accent or umlaut that can be attached to the appropriate vowel. Both Mac and Windows computers have the option to change the layout of the keyboard to access special characters.
The Spanish alphabet has 27 letters. The 27th letter is "ñ." Two letters, "k" and "w," appear only in loan words such as "karate." Written Spanish is phonetic, and it uses acute accents and diaresis marks. These marks modify existing vowels rather than create an entirely new one. Accordingly, "n" and "ñ" are two different letters, whereas "a" and "á" are not.
The Spanish keyboard contains a single dead key with the accent mark in the lower-case position and the umlaut in the upper-case. This key allows users to type accents and insert diaresis marks as needed. Some keyboards include a dead key that adds the grave and circumflex accents.
While Spanish is the dominant language of Spain, minority languages also exist. The majority of these share a keyboard and alphabet with Spanish, but Catalan also includes an option to add a cedilla to "c" and write "ç."