how to do windows "alt codes" on mac

Discussion in 'macOS' started by Clandest, Apr 3, 2009.

  1. Clandest macrumors member

    Oct 23, 2008
    So I want to do some windows alt codes, but when I do the code holding option(alt) it doesn't come out like windows.
  2. r.j.s Moderator emeritus


    Mar 7, 2007
  3. TEG macrumors 604


    Jan 21, 2002
    Langley, Washington
    Instead of doing alt codes, we can actually make symbols using key combinations. You can simply use the Keyboard viewer to figure out how to make what you want. Simple things are easy, and we can walk you through them.

  4. kostia macrumors regular

    Apr 14, 2007
    In the International preference pane, add Keyboard Viewer, Character Palette, and, if you want hardcore stuff like Chinese/Japanese characters, Unicode Hex Input. One of those three options will give you the ability to enter any character you need.

    Basic characters that require alt codes in Windows, like em and en dashes, accented vowels, n with a tilde, bullets, trademark, copyright, registration, and so on, can be typed with simple two- and three-key combinations on a Mac.

    ñ option-N then N
    é option-E then e
    å option-A
    ™ option-2
    © option-G
    — shift-option-hyphen

    and so on
  5. rob215 macrumors newbie

    Jul 19, 2013
    Fort Lauderdale, FL
    ALT codes on Mac

    Wow, I realize this is an old thread but tonight I needed to enter some ALT codes on my 2013 Macbook Pro and I couldn't figure out how to do it. YES, I know you can hold OPTION or SHIFT+OPTION and get many of the popular symbols but I was using a special font in Photoshop that had certain characters you could only access with ALT codes!

    I Googled for an hour and had no luck. I still find it hard to believe there is no easy way to enter ALT+0131, etc. on a Mac!!

    Finally, I decided to make a simple utility in HTML/Javascript and I'd like to share it with anyone else that stumbles upon this page...

  6. benwiggy macrumors 68020

    Jun 15, 2012
    I'll admit that OS X lacks a proper method of viewing all the characters in a font and selecting them or copying to the clipboard. The Keyboard viewer will only show you those characters that can be input with the currently select keyboard map.

    I use FontExplorerX to manage my fonts, and that does include this feature. I would be surprised if there weren't other third-party apps that did this. (PopChar? Is that still going?)

    However, the main reason that Macs don't do ALT codes is because remembering four-digit numbers for hundreds -- or even thousands -- of characters in a font is so 1980s-computing it's not true.

    I can't believe that Windows hasn't developed a better way of typing and selecting characters. I don't do platform baiting much, but... really. It's so archaic and byzantine and user-hatey.
  7. rob215 macrumors newbie

    Jul 19, 2013
    Fort Lauderdale, FL
    I was using a new font and it came with a bunch of extra characters that you had to access with ALT codes. They included a handy chart with all of the 4 digit codes.

    I was working in Photoshop and it would have been nice to just hold down the ALT key and type the code. Having to switch to another program, or my web based utility is certainly more time consuming and less user-friendly.

    I'll admit this is the first time I've had to use those codes in years. =)

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