OS X El Capitan: Use the Character Viewer

Use the Character Viewer to enter emoji, symbols, accented letters, and characters from other languages (such as Japanese, Chinese, or Korean) into your documents.

Open the Character Viewer: In a document, choose Edit > Emoji & Symbols, or press Control-Command-Space.

If you previously used the Character Viewer, or set the option in Keyboard preferences to show it in the Input menu, you can also open it from the Input menu.

To open Keyboard preferences, choose Apple menu >  System Preferences, click Keyboard, then click Keyboard.

Expand or collapse the Character Viewer: Click the expand or collapse button  in the upper-right corner of the viewer. You may need to scroll to the top of the viewer.

Browse characters and symbols: Click the buttons across the bottom of the viewer (if it’s collapsed) or along the left edge of the viewer (it it’s expanded). When the viewer’s expanded, additional categories are visible.

If you don’t see a character or symbol, try searching for it by the Unicode name (such as Question Mark) or code (such as U+003F).

For some emojis, such as those for people, you can hold down an emoji to see variations of it.

Insert a character or symbol in a document: Position the insertion point in the document where you want the item to appear, then click the item in the viewer. If the viewer’s expanded, double-click the item.

Make a symbol or character a favorite: Expand the viewer, select an item, then click Add to Favorites. Or drag the item onto Favorites (if shown) in the sidebar.

Customize the Character Viewer: Expand the viewer, then click the Action pop-up menu You can make the symbols larger so they’re easier to see. To change the categories shown in the viewer, choose Customize List, select or deselect categories, then click Done.

If an app doesn’t use Unicode (a worldwide character set that works with most languages), you may not be able to type some special characters and symbols. Try inserting a different character or using a different app.

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OS X El Capitan: Use the Keyboard Viewer

OS X El Capitan: Use the Keyboard Viewer

See where characters for other languages, and special characters and symbols, are located on your keyboard.
  1. Click the Input menu in the menu bar, then choose the input source for the language whose keyboard you want to view.

  2. Choose Show Keyboard Viewer from the Input menu.

    If the command isn’t shown, choose Apple menu > System Preferences, click Keyboard, click Keyboard, then select “Show Keyboard, Emoji, & Symbol Viewers in menu bar.”

  3. Press the key on your keyboard that corresponds to the character shown in the Keyboard Viewer, or click keys in the Keyboard Viewer.

    Press a modifier key, or a combination of modifier keys, to see special characters or symbols you can type. For example, hold down the Option key or the Option and Shift keys.

If you changed your input source or keyboard layout in step 1, be sure to change it back, if necessary.

If you don’t see a specific character or symbol, try using the Character Viewer.

To use emoji on the Mac

To use emoji on the Mac

  1. Position the cursor in any text field you’d like to insert an emoji, like posting a tweet for example.
  2. Press the command and control keys on your keyboard. Then press the space bar.
  3. That will launch the Characters palette.
  4. Click on the Emoji icon in the sidebar.
  5. Emoji are divided into several categories: People, Nature, Food & Drink, Celebration, Activity, Travel & Places, and Objects & Symbols.
  6. Click on whichever emoji you’d like to use and they’ll be inserted where you left your cursor.
  7. When you’re done, click on the red circle in the upper left hand corner of the Characters palette to make it disappear.