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How to find and insert special characters in macOS

Unicode is a massive, sprawling effort that pairs a number to every unique character in a language, every punctuation mark, every math symbol, and much more. And nearly all of it is available within macOS—but not always easy to find.

There’s a semi-hidden way to access special symbol sets in Unicode, and a somewhat obscure method of searching for specific symbols across all of macOS’s included Unicode characters.

First, open the Keyboard preference pane and make sure that “Show keyboard and emoji viewers in menu bar” is checked. Now, in the menu bar, click the tiny palette that has a command (⌘) key in it and select Show Emoji & Symbols. The Character Viewer that appears shows emoji by default, and with an input cursor in any app or form field that lets you type in text, you can double click emoji to insert them or drag them into a document.

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