How to use emoji, accents, and symbols on your Mac

macOS includes features that make it easy to find and type special characters like emoji and currency symbols.

Type emoji and other symbols

  1. Click the place in your document or message where you want the character to appear.
  2. Press Control–Command–Space bar. The Character Viewer pop-up window appears:
    Emoji menu
  3. Use the search field at the top of the window, click a category at the bottom of the window, or click the Custom View button in the upper-right corner to expand the window and reveal more characters.
  4. When you find the character that you want, click or double-click it to insert it in to your text.

In the Messages and Mail apps, you can also see the Character Viewer popup when you click the Emoji button.

Type accented characters

Press and hold a key until its alternate characters appear, then click or type the number under the character that you want to use.

If no additional characters are available for the key that you're holding, the accent menu doesn't appear.

If you decide that you don't want to type an accented character after holding a key, press the Esc (escape) key.

Repeat a character

Some keys repeat when you press and hold them, depending on where you type them. Press and hold the Space bar or symbol keys (like hyphen or equals) to make these characters repeat in most apps. In apps where accented characters aren't used (like Calculator, Grapher, or Terminal), letter and number keys also repeat when you press and hold them.

If a character isn't repeating, check your Key Repeat settings:

  1. Choose Apple () menu > System Preferences.
  2. Click Keyboard.
  3. Make sure that the Key Repeat slider isn't set to Off.

If a key isn't designed to repeat in the app you’re using, follow these steps:

  1. Select the character that you want to copy.
  2. Press Command-C to copy the character to the clipboard. 
  3. Hold Command-V to paste the character repeatedly.
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