Sometimes you need to insert special characters while writing a report, creating an invoice, or in a random chat on the Mac. macOS supports all types of unique characters, but it’s hidden in the OS. You can add arrows, bullets, currency symbols, Latin words, math symbols, punctuation, and more. The macOS also allows you to search the fonts from the settings and let you add them as favorites for easy access. Here’s how to add special characters on Mac.
You need to use different currency symbols while talking with clients and writing a budget proposal. Most math symbols already come integrated into the keyboard. But other characters are tucked away in the system. In this post, we will discuss how to do special characters on Mac apps like Google Docs. Let’s get started.
How to Type Euro Sign And Degree Sign on Mac
Among all the methods, keyboard shortcuts remain the most effective way to type Euro and degree signs on Mac. While European keyboards implement the Euro sign on the letter E, the same isn’t easily available on the US or the UK keyboard.
You can press ‘Option + Shift + 2’ on a US keyboard and ‘Option + 2’ keys on a UK keyboard to type the Euro (€) sign.
The degree symbol is another frequently used character in weather reports or when you want to tell someone about a humid temperature in your region.
Press the ‘Option + Shift + 8’ keys to type the degree symbol. You can add Euro and Degree symbols from the Character Viewer menu too.
Type Other Special Characters on Mac
While currency and degree symbols are popular among Mac users, some may need to use other special characters on Mac. macOS offers a standard menu bar for all the apps. It doesn’t matter which app you are currently using, the menu at the top, such as File, Edit, View, Format, Note, etc., remains standard at the top.
Step 1: Whenever you want to add a special character, you can go to the Edit menu.
Step 2: Scroll down to Emoji & Symbols option. It launches the Character Viewer menu.
Step 3: By default, it opens the Emoji menu. Select a relevant section from the sidebar. You can choose special characters such as Arrows, Bullets & Stars, Currency Symbols, Latin, Parentheses, Punctuation, and more.
Step 4: Double-click on a special character to insert it into a chat, email, or report.
If you regularly use certain special characters in your workflow, click ‘Add to Favorites’ below a symbol and access it from the ‘Frequently used’ menu. You can also check font variations from the same menu.
How to Get Emojis on Mac
Emojis aren’t limited to your iPhone, iPad, or Android keyboards. Although the Mac keyboard doesn’t come with a dedicated emoji button, the emoji panel is only a click away.
You can type ‘Control + Command + Space’ keys to open the same Character Viewer menu. The Emoji menu is neatly divided into Smileys & People, Animals & Nature, Food & Drink, Activity, Travel & Places, Objects, Symbols, and Flags. You can also use the search bar at the top to find an emoji quickly.
How to Type an Accent on a Mac
It can be difficult to type accents on an English keyboard. While a dedicated keyboard that’s designed for such a language offers better flexibility, you can type accent on a US keyboard too. Simply keep pressing an alphabetical key and check several accented characters from the pop-up menu. You can check the screenshot below for reference. Similarly, you can keep pressing other keys to check associated accents.
How to Add Maths Symbols on Mac
You can type maths symbols from the Character Viewer menu on Mac.
Step 1: You can head to Edit > Emojis & Symbols menu and select Maths Symbols from the sidebar.
Step 2: Double-click on a symbol to add it to a document.
Software like Microsoft Word also has a dedicated menu to insert a special character like a maths symbol on Mac. Select Insert at the top and open the Advanced Symbol menu to enter a character.
How to Check Hidden Characters on Your Mac Keyboard
Your Mac keyboard comes with hidden characters beneath. You can use the steps below to check it easily.
Step 1: Click the Apple icon in the menu bar and open System Settings.
Step 2: Select Keyboard and click Edit beside Input Sources.
Step 3: Enable the ‘Show Input menu in menu bar’ toggle.
Step 4: Click the command icon in the menu bar. Select ‘Show Keyboard Viewer’. A virtual keyboard shows up on the screen.
Press the Options key to see the hidden characters on the keyboard.
Best Alternatives to Typing Symbols on Mac
If you are unable to access the Character Viewer menu on Mac, use the tricks below.
1. Copy Special Symbols From Google
You can search for a special character on Google, copy it, and add it to a conversation.
2. Get a Physical Keyboard with Special Characters
Apple’s Magic keyboard is one such option available in several languages. You can get one in your local language and type special characters on the go.
Learn Keyboard Shortcuts for Popular Special Characters on Mac
You don’t have to go to Edit > Emoji and Symbols every time to use the menu. You can easily master the ‘Control + Command + Space’ keyboard shortcut to open the Emoji and Symbol menu.
The alphabetic keys on the keyword also work as the perfect way to add special characters to apps like Pages on Mac. You can long-press the keys, like S, E, I, N, etc., to reveal the pop-up menu with numbers and symbols.
You can also memorize some keyboard shortcuts to add some of the special characters during the write-up quickly. Check such keyboard shortcuts for popular special characters.
- Option + R = Registered Sign (®)
- Option + P = Pie symbol (π)
- Option + W = Summation Sign (∑)
- Option + G = Copyright symbol (©)
- Option + 3 = British Pound (£)
- Shift + 2 = @
- Option + 5 = §
- Shift + Option + ? = ¿
- Shift + Option + ‘ = Æ (Option + ‘ for lowercase æ)
- Option + 2 = Trademark (™)
- Option + 4 = Cents (¢)
And many more!
Customize Keyboard Text to Add Special Characters
You can quickly enter a special character via text replacement on Mac. Here’s what you need to do. Let’s take the Pound sign as an example.
Step 1: Navigate to System Settings > Keyboard > Text Replacements menu.
Step 2: Click + and type Pound.
Step 3: Replace it with a £ sign. Click Add.
From now on, whenever you type ‘Pound,’ macOS suggests replacing it with the same currency symbol.
How to Alternate n to Spanish n in Mac
Hold down the Option + N keys and press the N key again to insert ñ on Mac.
Spice Up Your Writing With Special Characters
Adding a special character to the Mac is quick and easy. You can always master the keyboard shortcuts to add these symbols on the go. Our favorite trick is to create a text replacement so it doesn’t break the writing flow.
Last updated on 31 May, 2023
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