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Mac OS X Special Character Quick Reference

Originally published at You can comment here or there.

I was chatting with someone today, and mentioned that the heat index was 106°. My correspondent immediately asked me how I managed to make the degree symbol. As I’m on a Mac, it’s dead simple: option-shift-8. This was something of a revelation to my friend (also a Mac user), and the next question was, “What other cool symbols can I type!?”

Instead of doing the right thing (telling my friend to open a TextEdit document and try the damned keyboard combinations), I made a cheat sheet. (Only about halfway through making it did it occur to me to Google for one. And by then, I was already invested in the damned thing.)

So, if any of you might find it handy, here it is: OS X Special Character Quick Reference

Enjoy. Or don’t. :)

Matthew Whalen liked this post
I think starting with 10.6 or 10.7, you can also hold down the various letters that can be accented, and a numbered list will appear to pick the accent rather then trying to remember the proper oder to get the accent facing the right way. For a you get: à, á, â, ä, æ, ã, å, and ā.

I'm betting this was added to make keyboard usage more consistent between iOS and OSX.

Punctuation marks, such as ≤, ≥ and ≠, still required option+key use.