How to Add Special Characters and Symbols in Apple Pages and Other Tricks

Back in 2006, Apple introduced the iWork suite of apps, including Pages, Keynote, and Numbers. Over the years, the company made many changes to it and included more features. Now, apps like Apple Pages and Keynote are solid alternatives to Microsoft Office apps and Google Docs. The Apple Pages shines at basic editing and word-processing capabilities. The software even comes with the ability to add math equations, charts, special characters, and much more.


Apple has added the ability to add emojis and special characters such as copyright symbols, math symbols, Latin words, currency symbols, and more.

In this post, we are going to talk about how to add them in Apple Pages. We will also mention a few tricks to customize the software, the ability to do voice typing, auto-correcting words to symbols, and more. Let’s jump in.

1. Add Emojis and Special Characters

While editing a document, you may come across a situation when you need to add a copyright symbol, Celsius character, different currency, or a simple math symbol.

You can simply go to Edit > Emojis & Symbols and choose a relevant symbol or emoji from the long list. Alternatively, you can tap on the character viewer for a streamlined menu. It’s categorized by Arrows, Latin words, Pictographs, Punctuation, and more. It’s easier to find a symbol form this menu.

Add symbils

This functionality is built right into the macOS. So, it works across all the apps, including Apple Pages, Microsoft Word, Apple Notes, and more. Memorize the keyboard shortcut Control + Command + Space to access the menu quickly.

2. Long-Press on Single Words for Suggestions

This one is also a part of the default macOS package. During writing, when you want to add a special character, you can long-press on keyboard words to open relevant symbol suggestions.

Long press words

For example, you can long-press on ‘C’ word to see symbol options. Similarly, a long-press on ‘A’ word will showcase a long list of suggestions. If you want to add them in the document, then use the number shortcuts under the character.

3. Set Auto-Replacement

If there are certain symbols or special characters that you use frequently, then you should consider setting up an auto-replacement for those symbols. Let me show you how to set them up in Apple Pages.

Go to Pages > Preferences (Command + ,) > Auto-Correction. Here you will see a replacement section with two menus.

Auto correction

For example, if you usually need the copyright symbol, then type (C), and it will replace it with a copyright symbol. I frequently need to use the Euro currency symbol, so I have set it to (e) shortcut. Surprisingly, the newly added shortcuts worked across all apps including Word and OneNote.

4. Add Math Equation

As I said earlier, Apple Pages is a perfect word-processing document for those living in the Apple ecosystem. It’s popular in the education sector too.

Add equations

Apple has added the ability to insert math equations in the Pages app. You can go to Insert > Equation (Keyboard shortcut > Option + Command + E) and open the dialog box to add formulas. Now type the formula, and it will convert it to a math-friendly version of it. Select Insert, and it will add the equation in the document.

5. Insert Charts

Apple Pages is as powerful as Microsoft Word when it comes to displaying stats and numbers via graphs.

Add charts

Go to Insert > Chart and choose from the long list of 2D, 3D, and interactive charts. My only problem is, it doesn’t showcase a preview of a chart before inserting in the document.

6. Customize Toolbar

Apple Pages comes with a standard toolbar for editing and customizing a document. However, you can change them to your preference.

Customize toolbar

From Apple Pages, go to View > Customize Toolbar and use drag and drop function to your liking. One can also set the software to showcase text and icon.

7. Add a Signature from iPhone

We have always talked about how Apple integrated its hardware offerings with software tweaks. The same holds true for a MacBook and iPhone.

iPhone users can add a signature or any sketch from the phone to Apple Pages directly. I use it to sign a document. Here is how to do it.

Add sign

You can also insert an image from the iPhone and scan a document using a phone camera in the Apple Pages.

8. Enable Voice to Text

Do you know one can type entire sentences in Apple Pages using the built-in voice detection function?

Voice typing pages

Go to Apple Pages, open a document, and select Edit > Start Dictation. The software will ask for permission and accept it to start typing via voice. In my experience, it worked quite well with the English language.

9. Save a Document Style as Template

This one is useful for professionals. You may want to design a letter pad with company symbol, address, email, website, and more in Apple Pages.

Now, you can save that default document as a template in Apple Pages. So, you don’t have to create it from scratch every time.

Save as template

After making necessary changes, go to File > Save a Template and give it a relevant name.

Use Apple Pages Like a Pro

Apple Pages is a viable competitor to its rivals. And it’s full of nifty tips and tricks. Combine that with the iPhone integration, and you have got yourself a more than capable word-processing software. And hey, it’s free too.

Next up: Microsoft Word also comes with the ability to add special characters and symbols. Read the post below to see how to do that in Microsoft Word and other tips.

Last updated on 03 February, 2022

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