Have Some Fun with OS X Mavericks's New In-Line Special Characters Menu

Emojis. You know them as the fun little emoticon-like ideograms that have become increasingly popular over the past several years. And for those who enjoy communicating certain thoughts and emotions via visual representations, you’ll want to upgrade to OS X Mavericks immediately. Apple has expanded the availability and implementation of Emojis in its latest operating system, and here’s how to use them.

As pointed out by the intrepid chat room during Mac Geek Gab Episode 472, press Control-Command-Space to bring up an Emoji-focused version of the Special Characters menu. There are hundreds of different graphics from which to choose, including traditional smiley faces, shapes, buildings, and icons. The graphics are divided into categories: people, places, objects, and so on. Simply click once on any graphic to insert it into a document or text field.

OS X Mavericks Emoji Symbol Window

In addition to fun smiley faces, this method can also be used to quickly insert common symbols such as the copyright sign, foreign currency marks, and mathematics symbols. Those looking for the traditional Special Characters menu can find them by clicking on the icon at the top right of the Emoji window (you may have to scroll up to reveal it).

OS X Mavericks Emoji Symbol WindowThis new feature works both when your cursor is positioned inside a text window (such as a document, email, or text box) as well as when nothing is selected (such as when idling at the Finder). In the first instance, the window will pop up at the cursor location, similar to the appearance of the in-line dictionary feature. In the latter, it will appear as a standalone window, as seen in the screenshots at the top of this article.

There’s certainly nothing groundbreaking here, and Apple included some Emojis in previous versions of OS X via the traditional Special Characters window, but for users who want easy access to emojis and symbols, it’s a fun addition in Mavericks.