There are bunch of symbols that can be created using keyboard shortcuts as I mentioned on my previous article : 100 Mac Keyboard Shortcuts for Creating Symbols. Unfortunately, not all of available symbols on your Mac can be called out with keystrokes. That’s when Character Palette comes in handy here.
For all applications which are specially designed to run on Mac OS X, you can open the Character Palette. There are two ways to open it : navigating through the Flag or accessing via Edit Menu; The latter is easier.
The Flag is located on the right side of your menu bar. If you cannot see the Flag, you should activate it first from your
International Preferences Pane (the bottom check box inside Input Menu tab). After you’ve got the Flag, you can click on it, choose
Show Keyboard Viewer and your Character Palette will appear. You can refer back here to get to know more about Input Menu.
When you’re inside any of Mac OS X applications, you can invoke Character Palette by choosing your Menu Bar ▸ Edit ▸ Special Characters. This is so much easier than the method before. If you want to boost your speed further, you can use keystrokes Command-T.
Now you’ve been successfully move inside Character Palette.
Inside Character Palette : Searching Specific Symbol
I’ve bad news here, your Character Palette will be floating above all of your applications, distracting you from your work. But the good news is, you can access most of the special characters available with your Character Palette. And more, searching for specific character is really easy, fast and addicting.
Let’s say you want to search for your horoscope sign
Virgo (it’s my horoscope sign, after all). Click on the search box on the bottom right corner of your palette and type in “virgo”, the result is very straightforward.
Let’s try another more universal example. You can type “heart” and all the characters whose name contains the word “heart” will be displayed as the result.
You’ve found your very special character, but you cannot put it directly on your website (or maybe.. blogsite). Don’t worry about that, you can find the unicode right away.
Find the Character : Get the Unicode
Look at the top of your Character Palette. There will be option box labelled View which you can set your Palette display there. To get the unicode, you should choose Code Tables. You will get your character “virgo” is located at row “2640″ column “D”. It means that you need to use “” plus “264D” to get the character displayed correctly on web browser.
If you’re not sure enough, you can see the full details of your character by clicking on the left triangle of Character Info which will display your character in large size, its name, unicode and its UTF8 code.
Lastly, don’t ever forget to click Insert..