Topics Map > Microsoft Office 365

Macintosh / Apple - How to Select Language Specific Characters

This article will detail the process of opening and using the special characters that are available by default on Apple computers. The special characters include letters that are necessary when typing in languages such as Spanish, German, and French. In addition, the article will also detail how to set up a "Favorites" list for quick and easy access to frequently used special characters.
Opening and Using the Emoji and Symbols Menu
1. Click the Apple logo in the top left-hand corner of the screen, then select System Settings.

Open System Settings

2. In this menu, select Keyboard from the menu pane on the left-hand side.

Select Keyboard.

3. Select Edit under "Text Input" to open up the specific keyboard settings we will need in order to access the special character list.

Select Edit

4. In this new window, click on the toggle switch to the right of "Show Input menu in menu bar". The toggle switch will turn blue as shown in the image below, when this step is completed. After ensuring that the toggle switch is blue, click done at the bottom right-hand corner of the window. System Settings can now be safely closed by clicking the red circle in the upper left-hand corner.

Select the toggle switch

5. In the top right-hand corner of the whole computer screen, in the menu bar, there should now be a new symbol as pictured below. Click on this new symbol to display three options, and select Show Emoji & Symbols. This will then bring up a new window.

Show emoji and symbols

6. This new window will be divided into four main sections. The list on the left displays the category of symbols that will display in the middle section, while the two sections on the right hand side display additional information about a selected symbol. In order to make this window easier to navigate, click the "meatballs" menu button in the top left-hand corner as highlighted below, then select Customize List (highlighted by red rectangle).

Select the menu button

7. There should now be displayed a list of various different categories containing sets of symbols. Uncheck all boxes except the following: Latin, Letterlike Symbols, Punctuation, and Punctuation - All. After unchecking all but these four, click done at the bottom of the small window.

Uncheck categories.

8. The menu pane on the left-hand side should now display only those four categories. In order to find each individual symbol that you will need, select Latin, which will display the Latin-based symbols in the center section of the screen.

Character Viewer.

9. From here, locate the special character you would like to insert into your document and double-click the symbol. This will insert the character at the point where your cursor is in the document.


10. To add a character to your Favorites, select the character you would like to add. Now click Add to Favorites in the menu pane on the right-hand side.

Add to favorites.

You will now see a "Favorites" category in the menu pane on the left-hand side.


Tech Service Desk

Room A184, 217-353-3333

Fall/Spring: 7:30 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. M-Th. / 7:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Fridays

Summer: 7:30 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. M-Th

Submit an IT Help Ticket via

KeywordsSpanish French German Microsoft Word Language Special Character keyboard mac   Doc ID94274
OwnerCaleb M.GroupParkland College
Created2019-09-03 15:30:42Updated2023-09-07 12:50:41
SitesParkland College
Feedback  0   0