How to Access Special Characters in Your Mac Fonts

If you download a font with special characters, it’s very easy to access those additional characters with the Windows Character Map. While Macs have a similar native tool that ship with the OS, it’s a little harder to find.

The Mac equivalent to the Character Map is buried in the Mac Font Book, under the setting “Repertoire”. When you first open the Font Book, you’ll see all the basic characters available in any given font.


There are three ways you can switch to the advanced view that displays all the extra characters, glyphs, and more. You can use the keyboard shortcut, Command-2.

You can access that same setting through the menu by going to View > Repertoire. Or you can click the second button from the left in the button menu with the little squares.


To use the extra characters that you can now see, just copy the character from the Font Book using Command-C and paste it in the program you want to use it using Command-V.

With calligraphy fonts, you might find that you have extra font styles that don’t show up in the basic Font Book setting. You’ll find stylistic alternates, extra symbols or pictograms, and typographic ligatures.

Do you use the Font Book’s repertoire? Let us know how you put it to good use in the comments. 

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