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How to Type Special Characters in Mac OS

As for the brand and comfort of the Mac keyboard, it’s perfect. What is lost are special characters. Well, it’s not just about the Mac keyboard but about all the keyboards in the world. Some have the dollar sign, while others may have the Euro key, depending on where the keyboard is sold. But what if you want to write a square root sign as a character in your text? This is when you feel the need to have special characters on your Mac.

Fortunately, you don’t need to install any app or plugin that. Mac OS X has you covered with this problem. All you need to do is follow a few steps to make it work. So stay with me and follow the instructions mentioned in this post:

How to Type Special Characters in Mac OS by Inserting Characters with Accents

Step 1. To insert special characters with accent marks in Mac OS, open the Pages document or a Google Doc file you want to type in.

Step 2. Long press on the letter on the keyboard you want an accented version of.

Step 3. This will open a small menu near the typed alphabet containing the accented versions of the letter in different languages.

Step 4. From this list, chose the character you want to select and click on it.

Step 5. This will make the selected special character appear right next to the original letter in your text.

How to Type Special Characters in Mac OS by Inserting Other Special Characters

Step 1. To include other special characters which can not be found on the keyboard but are not accented, you would need to use a keyboard shortcut. Click on Control + Command + Space.

Step 2. Doing so will open a small window containing a large number of emoticons you can choose from.

Step 3. In case you do not want emoticons and are looking for other characters, notice the small icon on the right side of the window and click on it.

Step 4. This will expand the window wherein you will see a plethora of options to choose from. This is Mac’s ‘Character Viewer.’ You will find all the characters you want in this window.

Step 5. Click on the options you want from the list on the left to open new options.

Step 6. This will open a new menu containing special characters related to the description provided.

Step 7. Find the special character you want and double click on it. That is it! You will see a special character selected to appear in your text.

How to quickly insert special characters in macOS

Step 1. Open System Preferences by clicking the Apple logo () in the upper left corner of your screen and then click Keyboard.


Step 2. Ideally, you should be in the “Keyboard” tab. Check the box next to “Show keyboard and emoji viewers in the menu bar

Show keyboard and emoji viewers in the menu bar


Step 3. Now click on the “Input sources” tab and check the box next to “Show input menu in menu bar”. You can now exit System Preferences.

Show input menu in menu bar

Step 4. Then click the icon of the keyboard in the menu bar and select “Show Keyboard Viewer” and a virtual keyboard appears on the screen.

Show Keyboard Viewer

Step 5.  The last thing you need to do is press and hold the Option key on the physical Mac keyboard. You will notice that the virtual keyboard will have all the special characters that you can use in your text.

Signing …

You may not need special characters in daily operations, but occasionally, if the need arises, you now know how to do it quickly. The feature certainly covers most of the special characters you may need. To test if you have it correctly, comment on a special character below.