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OS X Mavericks: Enter special characters and symbols

Enter special characters and symbols using the Character Viewer

Use the Character Viewer to enter special characters and symbols (such as mathematical symbols, accented letters, or emoticons), and characters from other languages (such as Japanese, Chinese, or Korean), into your documents.

Do any of the following:
Option Description
Open the Character Viewer: In a document, choose Edit > Special Characters. Or choose Show Character Viewer from the Input menu (looks like a flag or character) in the menu bar.
Expand or collapse the Character Viewer: Click the button next to the search field at the top of the viewer. You may need to scroll to the top of the viewer.
Browse characters and symbols: Click the buttons along the bottom of the viewer. To see additional categories of items or font variations for an item, expand the viewer.
Insert a character or symbol into a document: Position the insertion point in the document where you want the item to appear, then click the item in the viewer.
Make a symbol or character a favorite: Expand the viewer, select an item, then click Add to Favorites. Or drag the item onto Favorites (if shown) in the sidebar.
Customize the Character Viewer: Expand the Viewer, then choose Customize List from the Action pop-up menu (looks like a gear). Select the categories that you want to appear in the viewer, then click Done.

If the Character Viewer isn’t shown in the Input menu, choose Apple menu > System Preferences, click Keyboard, click Keyboard, then select “Show Keyboard & Character Viewers in menu bar.”

If an app doesn’t use Unicode, a worldwide character set that works with most languages, you may not be able to type some special characters and symbols. Try inserting a different character or using a different app.

Last Modified: May 8, 2014
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  • Last Modified: May 8, 2014
  • Article: PH13867
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