Change your Character


Change your Character
Mac Tip #365, 19 November 2008

Do you know where the Character Palette is? Or what it does? It’s a mysterious window full of treasures.

Choose Characters... from the gear menu in the Fonts window.

Choose Characters... from the gear menu in the Fonts window.

Back in Font Tips, Mac Tip #309/03-Oct-2007 and Font Window Gear Icon, Mac Tip #310/10-Oct-2007 I mentioned the Character Palette in passing. Now let’s look more closely.

Open a TextEdit window and press Command T. The Fonts window appears.

Browse characters in the Character Palette.

Browse characters in the Character Palette.

Now click the gear icon at the bottom of the window and choose Characters…. The Character Palette appears.

From the View pop-up menu select All Characters, and click on the by Category tab — that just makes sure that for this Tip we’re all looking at the same thing.

Now click the disclosure triangle beside Punctuation and select the Punctuation sub-item. Punctuation symbols such as exclamation marks, question marks and other mysterious things appear in the right-hand side of the Character Palette window.

Select a character and choose Add to Favorites from the gear menu.

Select a character and choose Add to Favorites from the gear menu.

Click on a symbol and then click the Insert button at the bottom of the Character Palette window. The symbol is inserted into your TextEdit window at the insertion point (where your cursor is). I set the font size in my document to fairly huge so I could easily see the symbols.

If you’ve found a character you like and may use again make sure that character is selected. Click on the gear icon at the bottom of the Character Palette window, and choose Add to Favorites. To quickly find that character again click the Favorites tab near the top of the Character Palette window.

The Favorites tab in the Character Palette.

The Favorites tab in the Character Palette.

Now explore some of the other Character sets, such as Symbols, and the many kinds of scripts. Depending on what’s installed on your computer, you may see empty boxes in place of some characters, but you should find plenty to while away a few hours.

In the next Tips I’ll reveal some more secrets from the Character Palette.

Meanwhile you have some homework: read the first paragraph of the Wikipedia article on typefaces (and read or skim the rest, especially the sections on Serifs and Types of typefaces).

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3 Comments

  1. toppled god said:

    Yes, but if I am typing a document or email in a language (say French) that uses accents constantly, how can I make hot keys out of these characters I have favorited?

  2. Pingback: Many-faceted Characters — Mac Tips

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