We’ve all seen them – the cartoon smiley faces and symbols that are frequently used with messaging, along with many other symbols used in all sorts of applications. Have you ever wondered how you can use these in Mac OS X? Well wonder no more, in this post we’ll walk you through mastering special characters in OS X.

Mastering special characters in OS X

From any application, click on the Edit menu, then Special Characters. This will bring up a screen where you can browser through thousands of symbols, arrows, pictographs, bullet points, special punctuation, and more. One of particular interest is the Emoji section – you can use Apple’s range of emoticons in any application.

Once you’ve found the symbol you want to use, just drag and drop it to wherever you are typing.

You can add symbols you use regularly to your favourites for easy access, or just browse through the handy related symbols if you can’t find exactly what you’re looking for.

I’ve been used to using the Symbol menu in Microsoft Word, so for me anyway it is handy to know where to find these things on Mac OS X.