How to Add Special Characters on Mac and Other Tricks

How to Add Special Characters on Mac and Other Tricks

There are times when you want to enter special characters when writing reports or creating invoices or in random chats on a Mac. macOS supports all types of special characters, but is hidden in the OS. Apple has added various arrows, bullets, currency symbols, Latin words, mathematical symbols, punctuation marks, and more. Even better, macOS also allows you to search for fonts from settings and let you add them as favorites for easy access.

I mostly use different currency symbols when talking to clients and writing budget proposals for them. Students will also appreciate the inclusion of degree, Celsius, Fahrenheit, and more symbol menus. Most of the mathematical symbols have been integrated on the keyboard. However, the symbol menu works by entering special mathematical characters such as subsets, increments, integral extensions, addition, division, and more.

In this post, we will talk about adding special characters on Mac and other tricks to the keyboard. We will also mention how you can create shortcut words to implement special characters on macOS. This is useful when you use certain characters more often. Let’s get started.

Use the Edit Menu

macOS offers a standard menu bar at the top for all applications. It doesn’t matter which application you are using, the above menus such as File, Edit, View, Format, Note, etc., remain standard above.

Follow the steps below to add special characters on macOS.

Step 1: Every time you want to add special characters, you can go to the Edit menu.

Step 2: Scroll down to the Emoji & Symbols options. Tap on it, and it will open the Emoji and Symbol menu.


Step 3: By default, it will open the Emoji menu. Double tap on the emoji icon to add it, and there are two ways to add it for special characters.


You can use the bottom menu, which is neatly organized in various emoji menus and character styles. Or even better, you can tap on the emoji section in the upper right corner and open the emoji and symbol menu in detail.

It’s neatly divided into Emojis, Arrows, Bullets, Currency Symbols, Latin words, Mathematical Symbols, and more. I am sure you will find what you are looking for.


There are hundreds of special characters and symbols. Sometimes, it can be very difficult for the user to find the perfect symbol he is looking for.

Apple has added several ways to easily access the most commonly used special characters. From Character Viewer, you can see the Frequently Used menu to see the symbols you use most often on Mac. Users can choose symbols and from the side menu, they can choose the ‘Add to Favorites’ menu. This option will create a separate Favorites menu in the sidebar as well as in the emoji menu.


From the Character Viewer menu, you can simply use the search bar to find the special character that you are looking for. This works perfectly. For example, you can simply write ‘Euro’ in the search bar and it will reappear with the results of the Latin words (Hey, this can be useful if you learn a new language) as well as the Euro currency and flags of European countries. I mostly use the search bar because it’s fast and effective compared to juggling through many sections in the Character Viewer menu.


Use Keyboard Shortcuts

You don’t have to go to Edit> Emojis and Symbols every time to use the menu. You can easily master the keyboard shortcut ‘Control + Command + Space’ to open the Emoji and Symbol menus.

The alphabet key on a keyword also functions as a perfect way to add special characters to a Mac. You can press buttons like S, E, I, N, etc. To reveal a pop-up menu with numbers and symbols.

You can also memorize some keyboard shortcuts to quickly add some special characters during writing. Here are some examples of these keyboard shortcuts.

Option + R = Registered Alert (®)

Option + P = Pie symbol (π)

Option + W = Sum of Signs (∑)

Option + G = Copyright symbol (©)

And much more!

Text Keyboard Customization

I use this all the time. I have created text shortcuts for some of the special characters and symbols that I use most often.

Open the System Preferences menu on Mac and navigate to the Keyboard> Text menu. By default, you will see ‘omw’ on your way! phrase. You can use the same menu to convert text to symbols or special characters.


Tap the ‘+’ icon below and write the replacement phrase. I have added the word ‘degree’ here and set the system to replace it with the degree symbol. So next time, whenever I want to add the ° symbol, I will write the word degree, and the system will replace it with the symbol. You can make as many short phrases as possible to replace them with symbols and special characters.


Enliven Your Writing With Special Characters

Adding special characters on a Mac is quick and easy. You can always master keyboard shortcuts to add this symbol while on the go. My favorite is creating text shortcuts, so they don’t damage the writing flow.

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