Have you recently purchased a new Macbook? They are amazing computers and each year a new model is released including a host of new and exciting features from touch bars to retina displays.

But you want to be able to walk before you can run: knowing the basics like Mac keyboard symbols is important. 

Here’s everything you need to know about Mac symbols and keyboard symbols information.

Consider Downloading Another Language Keyboard

Firstly, before you get started learning all the special language characters for Mac, consider whether you are going to be using another language often.

If you are bilingual or know more than two languages then the first thing you’ll want to do after purchasing a new Mac-like the MacBook Pro 16 inch is to consider downloading different language keyboards.

This will enable you to switch seamlessly between the standard English keyboard and the keyboard from a foreign language by clicking on the menu bar. This can be a better option for some people than remembering all of the shortcuts.

Of course, there is nothing to stop you using both a foreign keyboard and the symbols.

You can add another keyboard to your computer by clicking on the A in the box symbol on the right-hand side of the menu bar next to the magnifying glass and the icon for Siri.

Click ‘Open keyboard preferences’ and then under input sources press the addition symbol to add the keyboard of your choice. When you do this you will be able to type in another language using, for instance, the numbers as stand-ins for different accents.

Special Language Characters

If, however, you want to use special language characters on your standard English keyboard then be sure to follow the following instructions and shortcuts.

For Áá Éé Íí Óó Úú then be sure use ‘Option’ + ‘E’ followed by ‘Vowel’ and then (optional) ‘Shift’. You can use this same shortcut for down accents by replacing ‘E’ with a comma.

If you want to use the ^ accent above your vowels then replace ‘E’ with ‘l’ for the two dots sitting above the letters Ää Ëë Ïï Öö Üü Ÿÿ then use ‘U’. Finally, for the wave Ãã Ññ Õõ, be sure to use ‘N’.

Show All Special Characters

Did you know that there are over 1,300 special characters you can use in total? This is a huge amount and you can’t possibly memorize all of the shortcuts for every single symbol.

Instead, you might want to access the special characters’ shortcuts menu so that you can see all of the symbols available.

You can do this by pressing the apple button on the menu bar at the top of the screen. From here select system preferences from the dropdown menu. Then select keyboard and be sure to press the box labeled ‘Show keyboard and emoji viewers in menu bar’.

Next click on the A in a box in the corner of the menu bar and you should see two new options. One is to show emoji symbols and one is the keyboard viewer.

These will enable you to see a virtual keyboard and what shortcuts are available as well as a list of every emoji and special character that is preinstalled.

Disable Shortcuts

Maybe you are fed up with shortcuts and find that they are interrupting the flow of your writing, particularly if you have just purchased a new mechanical keyboard to get some writing done. There is a way of disabling them. For this, you need to hit system preferences in the menu bar dropdown again and then keyboard.

From here you should press the shortcuts tab and you can select which shortcuts you want to enable and disable.

If you feel you have disabled something that you still want then you can press the button to restore the default shortcuts.

Create Your Own Shortcuts

Sometimes the shortcuts Mac sets up are not intuitive for us. This is because most users probably rarely use some symbols but you use it all the time.

You might want, for instance, to have a quick shortcut to use the monetary symbol for Japanese Yen or Vietnamese Dong because you deal with these currencies all the time and have clients for your business there.

You could set up a shortcut to replace shift and 4 which currently gives you the symbol for the Dollar with the symbol for Yen or Dong. This is one of the best Mac keyboard symbols to use.

To do this open up the show emojis and symbols window that you activated earlier on in the A menu bar. Then copy the symbol you want to create a simple shortcut for.

Open system preferences and press the keyboard option. Open the tab for Text, click on the addition sign and paste in your desired symbol.

Mac Keyboard Symbols Help Us Communicate

We all need language and symbols to express ourselves and a keyboard, unlike a pen and paper, can be quite restrictive.

Unlike a pen or paper where we can write down exactly what we want, we have to find the symbol on a keyboard. Sometimes there are Mac keyboard symbols that are rarely used by most of society but a small percentage of Mac users need access to them all the time.

However, the great thing about having a Mac is you can customize your keyboard so that you can create easy-to-fund shortcuts that make sense to you. You can also use the built-in shortcuts that you might not have heard of.

You also have the option to access the keyboard viewer and to show emojis and symbols from the menu bar.

If shortcuts are annoying you then you also have the option of disabling them from the menu bar.

If you are interested in reading more about Mac keyboard symbols or keyboard symbols information then be sure to check out the rest of our site.


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