Back to Mobile View

Skip to Content

TUAW Deals

Mac 101: Using the keyboard viewer in OS X Mavericks

Keyboard Viewer

The keyboard viewer in OS X has been serving as a useful tool for a long time, allowing users to view keyboard characters with a few clicks of their mouse. Though Apple continues to include the utility in OS X, it has changed its location in the system preferences, moving it from "Language & Text" in Mountain Lion and earlier to the "Keyboard" preference pane.

System Preferences Keyboard

To add the keyboard viewer to the menu bar in OS X Mavericks, you must enable this option in the system preferences as follows:

  1. Choose Apple menu > System Preferences, and then click the Keyboard preference pane.
  2. Click on the Keyboard tab and then select "Show Keyboard & Character Viewers in menu bar" as shown above.

Input Menu bar

Once the Input menu appears in your menu bar as a flag-like character, click on this icon and then click "Show Keyboard Viewer" to display a virtual keyboard on your screen.

By default, you see the default keyboard characters, but you can easily view alternative characters by holding down the Option key, the Shift key or the Option-Shift key. When you see the alternative character you want to enter into a document, just click on it in the virtual keyboard or tap on the appropriate keys on your Mac keyboard, such as Option-Shift-K for the Apple "" icon.

© 2014 AOL Inc. All Rights Reserved.