Special Characters in MacOS leancrew.com

Dr. Drang:

I have a feeling many longtime Mac users are like me: some special characters are typed directly, some are done through expansion, and the rest — never used before and never expected to be used again — come through the Character Viewer.

When the Mac turned forty earlier this year, I made an effort to mention the “ability to type special characters by using the option key” as one of my favourite MacOS features. But I neglected to mention text replacement — which I use to transform, for example, cmdkey into ⌘, and xtimes into × — and Character Viewer. You may know the latter as the emoji picker, but you can click the icon in the upper-right of the panel to display the full Character Viewer. Oh, and another way of inserting special characters is to simply hold down a key on the keyboard, just like on iOS.

All of these seem like pretty intuitive ways to insert characters which do not appear on the keyboard, and do not require you to memorize Unicode values. I use all the entry methods available in MacOS and they, collectively, are among my favourite system features.