Nov 13

Making the most of your keyboard


I have this friend in England and he just purchased a house for £345,000 which in Spain would have cost him a whopping €441,161. This is quite an accomplishment because he has a very mundane job, you see he is the guy who goes around putting the © symbol on everything before it leaves the factory.

Now that, as the opening to an article, isn’t very interesting. But what is more interesting is how I produced all the little symbols like © or  £  and that one that is now the universal symbol for bankruptcy: €

The answer is the Character Viewer menu that, back in the 90’s, was a very prominent utility but these days has been reduced to a check box in System Preferences and, as a consequence, is often missed.

Using this menu can make your missives a lot more interesting and its uses go far beyond currency. You can, for example, produce a bullet point list for the perfect weekend activity:

• Hammer

• Glue

• Rope

• Android Phone


So how is it done?

1. Click on the Apple menu and choose System Preferences.

2. Click on Keyboard

3. Click on the Keyboard ab and check Show Input menu in menu bar

NOTE: You might also notice that you can add all kinds of other keyboards from other countries allowing you to type in that languages particular style. These have special symbols as well.

4. Close System Preferences


Screen Shot 2014-11-18 at 9.18.56 pm

At this point a small symbol appears in your menu bar.

Screen Shot 2014-11-13 at 1.30.16 am

Click on this and you can choose to click on Character View and this allows you to cherry pick any symbol from any category to illustrate your point. Just find what you want and double click on it.

Screen Shot 2014-11-13 at 1.33.03 am

For example: my star sign is: ♌︎

You can also choose Keyboard viewer.

Screen Shot 2014-11-13 at 1.33.25 am

While this is visible any key you press is highlighted and by using this you can learn the key combination necessary to produce the Ω symbol ( Option+z) rather than picking it from a list. Handy, if you are in a hurry.

Either way, this neat little menu can transform even the worst opening to an article into something a little more interesting.


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