Using Emojis (and More) Anywhere on Mac

Using the Characters Viewer on Mac to Add Hundreds of Characters to Any Text

Characters Viewer

Need to add an Emoji to an email? Or an approximate sign or musical symbol to a Word file? Or a foreign currency symbol to a spreadsheet? It’s easy to do using the Characters Viewer on a Mac.

Finding the Character Viewer

The Character Viewer is not a standard application. So you won’t find in the Applications folder or by using Spotlight to search for it. Instead, you need to add it to the menu bar or invoke the keyboard shortcut (Command+Control+Spacebar).

To add the Character Viewer to the menu bar for quick click access:

  1. Open System Preferences.
  2. Choose Keyboard.
  3. At the bottom of the “Keyboard” tab, select “Show Keyboard, Emoji, & Symbols Viewers in menu bar.”
  4. Click on the new icon to open the Viewer.

Using the Character Viewer

Once you open the Viewer, the window may be too small to easily use. Click the icon at the top right to enlarge the window or drag any edge.

Next, make the symbols as large as possible by clicking the gear icon at the top left and choosing “Large.”

On the left you’ll see a few dozen categories of special characters. When you’ve found the character you want, you will need to drag and drop it into the file or app that you want to use it in. Annoyingly, there is no copy and paste functionality in the Characters Viewer.

Have a question about using the Viewer? Leave a comment.