Every Monday we show you how to do something quick and cool using built-in OS X utilities such as Terminal, Apple’s command line application. These easy hacks can make life better and simpler, and don’t require any knowledge of coding — all you need is a keyboard to type 'em out!
In OS X Lion, Apple incorporated the pop-up accent typing tool that was first introduced in iOS, which allows you to easily access accented characters by holding down the corresponding letter key. But if you don't regularly use accented characters, it might be best to disable this function with a little Terminal hackage.
To disable the pop-up accent window when typing in OS X, open up the Terminal application (located in /Applications/Utilities), then type in the following command followed by the enter key:
defaults write -g ApplePressAndHoldEnabled -bool false
After typing in this command, log out of your OS X account, then log back in for the changes to take effect. After doing this, you'll notice that the pop-up accent window no longer appears when you press and hold down certain keys.
If you ever want to have this menu appear again, type in this command:
defaults write -g ApplePressAndHoldEnabled -bool true
Then, once again, log out of your OS X account, and then back in for the changes to take effect. After doing this, the accent window will appear again while typing.
Cory Bohon is a freelance technology writer, indie Mac and iOS developer, and amateur photographer. Follow this article's author on Twitter.