Monday, September 26, 2011

Mac Daddy Monday: Easy Access to Symbols When Typing

Frustrated when you need to type an accented vowel or other ornamented letter (é, ñ, ç), a Euro sign or other currency (€), or symbols for keyboard shortcuts (⌥, ⌘)? There are many ways to get these, one is to do a Google search and hope to find some text you can copy and paste.

Mac includes a Character Viewer that has most any symbol you should need. Access this in System Preferences - Language & Text - Input Sources.

Check Keyboard & Character Viewer, then access the Character Viewer from the menu at the top.

Use the View menu in the Character Viewer to see different character collections. With your word processing application open, select the character and click Insert in the Character Viewer window. There is everything from braille patterns to arrows and ornamental symbols to copyright and trademark symbols to the Greek alphabet.

Some of these you can type directly with the keyboard. In the same menu above, choose Show Keyboard Viewer. Hold down the option key and notice what characters become available.

There are also widgets available such as CharacterPal which you can download here
If you do any html editing, this widget is particularly helpful because it shows the proper tag to display that character in a web browser.

-by LC Tech Blog Contributor Chris Fitzgerald


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