The Keyboard Viewer will then change layout to represent the keys of the desired language and allow you to insert native characters. For Simplified or Traditional Chinese characters, another input method is available: trackpad handwriting. Trackpad Handwriting allows you to draw out a Chinese character using the multi-touch trackpad on your MacBook or a Magic Trackpad. To begin Trackpad Handwriting, you don't need to switch languages in the menu bar.
The same keyboard shortcut is used to close Trackpad Handwriting too. Then, simply treat your trackpad like any other multitouch display and draw out the character you want to insert. When recognised, OS X will show options down the right side which you can tap on your trackpad to insert. You can tap in the top-left of your trackpad to remove your drawings if needed. If Trackpad Handwriting doesn't recognise your input on the trackpad, swiping down with two fingers and then deleting the input should solve the issue.
If you find yourself using a particular special character often, OS X also has symbol and text substitution that can automatically replace a particular string of input with your desired symbol. To edit any of the default or custom substitutions, simply double-click on what you want to change and replace it with the desired characters.
You can toggle the substituion using the respective tickbox or select it and click the - button to remove it permanently. In this tutorial, I have shown you how to access accents and special characters on your Mac. How to access and use other special characters, symbols and emojis. I have shown you how to enable different languages, in System Preferences, and how to write with Chinese characters. You have probably experienced at least one case of needing to use a special character, by now.
Having a firm grasp on how it all works means the next time need not impact the speed of your workflow.
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Subscribe Sign In. Web Design. Game Development. Computer Skills. Learning Guides. Computer Skills OS X. In this tutorial, I will show you exactly how easy it is to access special characters in OS X. A MacBook comes equipped with keys for the most commonly used characters in your language. Inserting Characters With Accent Marks You can enter a number of accents and language-based special characters by simply holding down the key relevant to the character that you wish to carry an accent.
Long-pressing the E key provides access to a range of accented alternatives. Inserting Other Special Characters Where a special character isn't available through the long-press method, described above, OS X provides the Keyboard and Character Viewers to allow you select and insert individual special characters. The Keyboard and Character Viewers are easily accessed from the menu bar when enabled.
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The Character Viewer When the Character Viewer is shown, inserting a character is as easy as double-clicking it in the window. The Character Viewer provides access to the full catalogue of special characters, snowmen included. The Character Viewer can be easily extended to provide access to even more special characters. The Keyboard Viewer The Keyboard Viewer allows you to use a virtual keyboard instead of the physical one attached to your Mac to input characters in another language as if you were using a native keyboard layout.
The Keyboard Viewer offers a virtual alternative to the physicality at your fingertips. Inserting Chinese Characters with Trackpad Handwriting For Simplified or Traditional Chinese characters, another input method is available: trackpad handwriting. Trackpad Highlighting turns your Mac's multi-touch trackpad into a drawing pad for Chinese characters. Symbol and Text Substitution If you find yourself using a particular special character often, OS X also has symbol and text substitution that can automatically replace a particular string of input with your desired symbol.
Creating a new substitution is a surprisingly straightforward process. Conclusion In this tutorial, I have shown you how to access accents and special characters on your Mac.
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Here are a few of the most common symbols and their corresponding key combination. Tick the box labelled Show Keyboard and Character Viewers in menu bar.
Keyboard Combinations for Common Special Characters
Click on the Input menu icon. The Keyboard Viewer shows key combinations such as those mentioned above, and many more. It can also be used to insert symbols — simply click on a symbol to insert into documents or emails. The Keyboard Viewer remains on top of other windows at all times, and even stays in position when you switch to another workspace in fullscreen mode. Just like the Keyboard Viewer, the Character Viewer can be accessed via the top menu bar when the Input menu has been enabled.
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There are literally thousands of symbols within the Character Viewer, grouped into useful categories such as Math Symbols, Punctuation, Arrows and Latin. Simply double-click any item to insert into the current document. I've been passionate about Apple ever since I bought my first iPod followed by a white polycarbonate MacBook in
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