Using Mac Special Key Symbols

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If you have used a Mac for any length of time you have used some more basic Special Key Symbols like Copy (⌘ “C”) or Paste (⌘ “V”). If you do any tech support for family members or other people, you will need to know how to type these symbols into text. There are several ways to do this, let’s look at a few of them.

Special Key Symbols

Recently I discovered a list of Special Key Symbols at this website. They have posted a list of the more commonly used Special Key Symbols on the Mac:

Special Key Symbols
Special Key Symbols

The idea is to bookmark this page. When you need a Special Key Symbol all you have to do is drag over a symbol, Copy it and then Paste it into your document. That is easy enough, but there are other ways of accessing Special Key Symbols.

One of those ways is to use the Character Viewer built into the macOS:

Character Viewer
Character Viewer

If you search around in here, you can find many of the Special Key Symbols. This takes a little more effort, but you can tell the macOS to keep the Character Viewer available in your menubar area.

There are third party Apps that contain this information. The one I use the most is PopChar by ergonis software. I have used this App for quite some time, here is the main interface:

PopChar Interface
PopChar Interface

In some ways PopChar is total overkill for some people. You can find almost any keyboard symbol known to man. However, the way I use it is to locate the Special Key Symbols I use the most then place them in a list at the top of the window. When I need a Special Symbol for a blog article (something I do frequently) I just activate the PopChar window from the menubar of my Mac and double-click on the symbol which places it at the cursor in my text.

If you had a program like Paste or Alfred, you could put some of the Special Key Symbols you use the most into their “Snippets” area. Then all you have to do is activate the Snippets and paste in the symbol.

Conclusion

I am sure there are other ways to access Special Key Symbols on the Mac, but these are some easy ways to do it. If you are using Special Key Symbols in your work, I think you will find one of these methods useful.

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