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OS X Lion: Enter special characters and symbols

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Enter special characters and symbols

Use the Character Viewer to enter special characters and symbols, such as mathematical symbols, letters with accent marks, emoticons, arrows and other “dingbats,” into your documents.

You can also use the Character Viewer to enter Japanese, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, and Korean characters, as well as characters from other languages.

If the character doesn’t appear in your document, you may be using an application that doesn’t support that character. Try using a different character or inserting the character in a different application.

Enter special characters or symbols from the Character Viewer

  1. Open a document, and place the insertion point where you want the special character or symbol to appear.
  2. Choose Edit > Special Characters to open the Character Viewer, or choose Show Character Viewer from the Input menu in the menu bar (looks like a flag or character).

    If you don’t see Show Character Viewer in the Input menu, follow the steps in this topic to show the Character Viewer in the menu bar.

  3. Select a category from the list on the left, and then select the character you want to use.

    Use the Recently Used or Favorites sections in the Character Viewer to quickly enter frequently used characters or symbols.

Add a character or symbol to the Favorites section in the Character Viewer

  1. Choose Edit > Special Characters to open the Character Viewer, or choose Show Character Viewer from the Input menu in the menu bar (looks like a flag or character).

    If you don’t see Show Character Viewer in the Input menu, follow the steps in this topic to show the Character Viewer in the menu bar.

  2. Select a category from the list on the left, and then drag the character you want to the Favorites section.

Customize the Character Viewer

If you don’t see the character or symbol that you want to use, try customizing the Character Viewer.

  1. Choose Customize List from the Action pop-up menu (looks like a gear) in the top-left corner of the Character Viewer.
  2. Select the categories that you want to appear in the Character Viewer, and then click Done.

Show the Character Viewer in the menu bar

  1. Choose Apple menu > System Preferences, click Language & Text, and then click Input Sources.
  2. Select the Keyboard & Character Viewer checkbox.

    You can now open the Character Viewer from the Input menu in the menu bar (looks like a flag or character).

Last Modified: Oct 31, 2013
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  • Last Modified: Oct 31, 2013
  • Article: PH3871
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