Access Special Characters In Any App With OS X Mavericks Beta [OS X Tips]

Messages Emoji

Don’t forget that the OS X Mavericks beta isn’t a final version—it’s meant to be used by developers to ensure that their software will work with Apple’s latest and greatest. With that disclaimer in mind, let’s check out a new little feature in the beta.

Many apps have had access to special characters before, like iChat and Messages. You’d simply click the little smiley face, for example, and get all the fun emoticons Apple has provided.

If you wanted to type a special character in a text document, though, you’d have to remember that Option-8 is a text bullet, and Option-K is the degrees symbol, and Option-2 gives you the Trademark symbol.

Now, though, in OS X Mavericks beta, you can see visually what special characters are available to you across all applications. Here’s how.

When you’re typing in any application that can accept text, simply hit Command-Option-T (or ⌘-⌥-T) to bring up a\n extensive palette of special characters, including emoticons, emoji, and text widgets. Use the button bar along the bottom to choose the special character set you want, or use the clock icon in the far left to access recently used characters. It’s a lot like the emoji keyboard in iOS, only in any app on OS X Mavericks beta.

Slick, right?

Pro tip: If you click and drag the little pop up special character window, it will tear off from where you were entering text, and become its own window, letting you move it around on the screen.

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About the author

Rob LeFebvreAnchorage, Alaska-based freelance writer and editor Rob LeFebvre is Cult of Mac's Culture Editor. He has contributed to various tech, gaming and iOS sites, including 148Apps, VentureBeat, and Paste Magazine. Feel free to find Rob on Twitter @roblef

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