How to add unicode characters using your keyboard (Mac & PC)
First of all, up until recently I had no idea that it is possible to add unicode characters using the keyboard on Mac. Turns out – it is possible! Here is what you need to do.
Go to System Preferences – Keyboard – Input Sources. You’ll see languages you are using on the left (in my case it is British). Click the “+” button at the bottom
Scroll to the very end of the list and you’ll see “Others” there. Select the only value in the list on the right which is “Unicode Hex Input”. Voila!
Now you can enter hex unicode values using your keyboard. Just press the Alt button (keep it pressed) and add the hex unicode number (for example 0041 – which will give you letter A).
Do not forget to check that the shortcut for switching between languages is on. Go to the Shortcuts tab and make sure “Select the previous input source” ticked. Now by pressing command+Space you can switch between your main language and the Unicode input.
This can be very helpful if you are working with Private Use Area characters and have a reference file with the numbers you need. In this case you don’t need to use any additional software to select and copy the glyphs.
It’s always been easy for PC users to do this (lucky ones!)
- Press and hold down the Alt key.
- Press the + (plus) key on the numeric keypad.
- Type the hexidecimal unicode value.
- Release the Alt key.