Typing with extended characters

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Mac OS X has the ability to easily type many extended characters, useful for international writing, or even for common Mac OS X terms like Exposé.

Using Special Characters

The Special Characters palette in Tiger
The Special Characters palette in Tiger

Most applications provide a quick link to the Special Characters palette. The palette is opened by selecting Edit->Special Characters. The palette shows many characters in many categories.

To insert a special character, simply double click it, and it will be inserted at the cursor position.

Typing Extended Characters

Several common international or greek characters are available directly from the keyboard, and accessed with the 'Option' key.

  • © (Copyright) - Option-G
  • ™ (Trademark) - Option-2
  • º (Degree) - Option-0 (zero)
  • • (Bullet) - Option-8
  • ¢ (Cent) - Option-4

(Note: Some of the examples shown here may not display properly, due to constraints of the internet)

Typing Modifiers to Common Characters

Additionally, Mac OS X provides modifiers to create accented characters. To invoke this functionality, press the option key, with the modifier key, then type the letter to be modified. For example, to type the final, accented "e" in "exposé", hold down option and press "e". The cursor will show a yellow field with an accent. Type "e", and the accent will be applied to e.

  • é,á,í,ó,ú - option-e + the letter
  • ñ,õ - option-n + the letter
  • î,û,ô - option-i + the letter