Mac tip: How do I add special characters to my documents?

July 19, 2008

apple.jpegMacs are chock full of hidden treasures that will make your computer life a lot easier. A few weeks ago I received an email from a recent Mac switcher. They wanted to know how to add special mathematics symbols to their document. With my business, I often use these special characters I have customers that live in Brazil (many of their names have special symbols included in their names) when I switched over to the Mac OS I had to find how to access this feature fairly quickly.

In Mac OS X 10.4 and Mac OS X 10.5, you’ll find the special characters tucked away in the Character Palette. The Character Palette allows you to insert characters, like mathematical symbols, letters that include accent marks, arrows, and other “dingbats” into your document. That’s not all you can also use the Character Palette to enter a variety of characters from different languages: Japanese, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, and Korean characters.

How do I add special characters to my documents in Mac OS X 10.4 and 10.5?

Where is the Character Palette located?
The Character Palette can be found in the Input menu. The Input menu icon resembles a flag, and you can (usually) find it in the top right hand corner of your menu bar.

I don’t see the Input menu in my menu bar?
When I first started hunting for these special characters on my MacBook Pro I couldn’t find them however that can be easily rectified.

  • Click on the Apple symbol located in the top left hand corner

  • Open System Preferences
  • Mac-International.jpg
  • Click on International
  • Mac-input menu.jpg
  • Click the checkboxes next to Character Palette and “Show Input Menu in menu bar.”
  • Mac-special-character.jpg

    How do I add special characters to my documents?

    It’s easy to add special characters to your document if the application you are using is designed to work with the Mac OS X the steps you need to do to add the special characters to your document are simple.

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