(How in blazes does one do accents in these forums? Hard HTML doesn't seem to work . . . .)
If you're on a Windows machine, there is (in most editions) a utility called "Character Map". It can be reached from Start menu through the sequence
Start -> Accessories -> System Tools -> Character Map
The tool allows you to browse character sets in various fonts, and copy and paste the one you want. It also tells you the WIndows escape code for the character, if there is one, so that you can type it directly instead of looking it up every time. Thus, I have finally memorized the fact that alt-0233 is the e-with-accent-aigu character, é.
I use Character Map often enough that I keep it on the Windows Toolbar (in versions of Windows that still support that) up at all times.