Enter Unicode characters on macOS

Under Microsoft Windows, Unicode characters can simply be entered using Alt + character combination, under Apple macOS this is more difficult. If you want to activate the Unicode Hex input on the Mac, then you've come to the right place. In the following you will find instructions so that the insertion of characters and symbols via Alt shortcut works accordingly.

Activate the Unicode Hex input on the Apple Mac

The fact that it is not possible by default to simply enter Unicode characters using a shortcut on macOS does not mean that it is completely impossible. Because you can activate the input via the system settings. This takes several steps; these are as follows:

  1. In the  menu of the menu bar, press the System settings ... choose
  2. There then the menu item Keyboard call
  3. In the rider Input sources Press the "+" below the list on the left
  4. Search for the "Unicode Hex Entry", click and click Add here
In the macOS system settings you will find the input source under "Keyboard", in which you can choose languages ​​and other options.
In the macOS system settings you will find the input source under “Keyboard”, where you can select languages ​​and other options.
Just search for Unicode and add the feature shown.
Just search for Unicode and add the feature shown.

If you do not already have the language setting in the menu bar (German flag), it should be activated now at the latest. If you want to deactivate this display again, you can do so in the window shown above by unchecking "Show input sources in the menu bar".

In order to make the simple change of the language settings from German to Unicode characters under macOS easier, there are a few additional steps. These look like this:

  1. In the  menu of the menu bar, press the System settings ... choose
  2. There then the menu item Keyboard call
  3. In the rider shortcuts select the item "Input sources" from the menu on the left
  4. Set the checkmark at "Next source from input source"
  5. Now entering the Unicode character under macOS should no longer be a problem
In order to switch between German and Unicode key assignment via key combination, you can make the settings here.
In order to switch between German and Unicode key assignment via key combination, you can make the settings here.

Enter Unicode characters on macOS

In the menu bar you can now activate Unicode hex input or via the activated one shortcut Switch to ctrl + alt + spacebar. You can also use the shortcut to return to the other language options that you have listed. But if you have now activated the Unicode Hex input, then you can enter characters using the alt shortcut on the Apple Mac under macOS, as in Microsoft Windows. For example, you can create a loop square (⌘) by typing alt + 2318 - so hold down old and enter the four digits.

If activated, you can call up this selection via the menu bar.
If activated, you can call up this selection via the menu bar.

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7 comments on “Enter Unicode characters on macOS”

  1. ... or copy / paste from Google or something like that. That's really crap that it doesn't work like it does with Windows.

    1. Yes, I hadn't missed it yet, but it's a nice feature for people who want to enter special characters as codes more often.

  2. Just got here via a search. It might be easier:
    In the language menu (which is displayed as described above), you can also display 'Emoji and symbols'. There you can, among other things, display all Unicode characters.
    I've put the ones I use frequently in my favorites.
    AND: Entering many special characters using key combinations on the Mac keyboard is much easier than remembering Ascii or Unicode

  3. ***** Thank you
    Both tips “Unicode Hex Input” and “Show Emojis & Symbol” saved my life!

    Because MS Word (at least) in connection with OS Catalina (under “Insert” and “Extended Symbol”) no longer offers any options for e.g. B. logical link characters. There is neither "Subsets" nor "More Symbols", no selection window for Unicode (hex), no possibility to enter a character code and also under "AutoCorrect" most of the characters cannot be found and cannot be created with a shortcut either, Even the (very hard-working) telephone support couldn't help or clarify what the problem was (Word, Catalina or both) after days of research.

    Note: Of course, I always use Open Office and only fell into the MS subscription trap because of an order.

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