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Whether you’re new to Mac or have been using it for years, highly specialized things like shortcuts, special Mac symbols, and accented characters might result in a web investigation spiralling out of control.

If you’ve just recently switched from Windows, you should know that Macs don’t really use alt codes to type special symbols. Instead, all of the most popular Unicode characters can be typed in right from the keyboard. Unfortunately, Apple could do a much better job of shining light at this functionality.

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For example, if you want to get a copyright symbol on Windows (©), you need to type in Alt 0169 — whereas, a copyright symbol on Mac is just Option + G. Similarly, a degree symbol on Mac (º) is Option + Zero and a registered trademark symbol on Mac (™) is Option + 2.

Truth is there are many more like this and below we’ll explore different ways of how to type copyright symbol on Mac or any special characters Macs allow, where to find Apple keyboard symbols, and whether there’s an emoji keyboard on Mac.

What Are All The Mac Keyboard Symbols?

While a standard computer keyboard contains around 80 keys, you’re able — in one way or another — use it to input all of the Unicode characters, of which there are about 130,000.

To start, simply explore how all the face-value characters change when you combine them with modifier keys — Control, Option, and Command. You can even combine multiple modifiers together as well. To see all Mac keyboard shortcuts symbols clearly, however, you need to turn on the full keyboard layout.

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Display all Mac keyboard symbols

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Even if you’ve been using your Mac for a while, it’s useful to look at all the possible keyboard combinations from time to time to refresh your memory and discover new ways of quickly inputting information.

Luckily, it’s easy to show all Mac key symbols at once:

  1. Go to System Preferences ➙ Keyboard
  2. Check the box next to “Show keyboard and emoji viewers in menu bar”

Now you can click on the language flag in your menu bar and choose Show Keyboard Viewer. The interactive display will appear, showing all the keyboard symbols and altering the view in real time when you use modifier keys.

Of course, even using all the modifier keys and combinations available, it’s impossible to fit all the characters in such constrained amount of space. To see all Mac key symbols, you need to select Show Emoji & Symbols option from the same language flag menu, or use a shortcut Control + Cmd + Space.

Here, you’ll see all kinds of categories on the left: Emoji, Arrows, Currency Symbols, etc. In the center are all the characters within a given category. And on the right you can pick a font variation of the same symbol.

To type in a TM symbol Macs use, for example:

  1. Open your word processor of choice
  2. Call the Mac symbols menu
  3. Navigate to Letterlike Symbols on the sidebar
  4. Double-click on ™ to paste it into your editor

How to create custom Mac keyboard shortcuts symbols

With the Show Emoji & Symbols window, you have access to nearly all Unicode characters you’ll ever need. However, if you need to use some special characters — such as a copyright symbol on Mac — rather frequently, it would be quite inconvenient to call up a menu and search for what you need every time. Of course, you can add the copyright symbol to your favorite characters, which will save you some time, but there’s a much better way.

Macs allow you to create shortcuts for all keyboard symbols to be able to easily type them in whenever you need. For example, to create a shortcut for the copyright symbol on Mac:

  1. Type in the © character into your editor as described above and copy it with Command + C
  2. Open System Preferences ➙ Keyboard
  3. Navigate to the Text tab
  4. Click the plus sign
  5. Paste your © symbol in the With column on the right
  6. Type in a desired key combination to trigger the copyright symbol on Mac in the Replace column on the left

Although this default shortcuts method works well for characters or emoji, it doesn’t effectively translate into longer strings of text or paragraphs. If you want to, for instance, create a shortcut that outputs a sales email template, you’d need to use a little nifty tool called Rocket Typist.

Rocket Typist is a full-featured text expansion app created to minimize repetition in composing any form of text-based communication. It’s essentially a small database of text snippets you’ll use over and over again.

Starting with Rocket Typist is easy: use File ➙ New to create a new snippet, specify the abbreviation, fill out as much text (sentences or even paragraphs) as you need, and then use the abbreviation to expand text in any application.

How to switch between keyboard languages quickly

Sometimes, the Mac keyboard symbols you need are only available in another language — say, they could be Cyrillic-based. To access them, you’d need to enable another keyboard layout on your Mac.

Luckily, it’s easy to do:

  1. Go to System Preferences ➙ Keyboard
  2. Navigate to Input Sources
  3. Click the plus sign
  4. Choose the language you need and press Add

Now, the second keyboard layout will be activated. Don’t forget to check the box next to “Show Input menu in menu bar” to see which layout is currently active. The standard shortcut to switch between layouts is Cmd + Space, but you can also change it to Caps Lock key in the Input Sources options.

Extra tip: typing emoji on iPhone is much easier if you add an emoji keyboard layout to your languages.

Special Characters: Type in various symbol variations

In some cases, you might just want to access a variation of the symbol that’s already on your keyboard, such as an accented letter.

One way to do this is to find the character of your choice in the Keyboard Viewer, as described above. Another way is to use a keyboard shortcut. You can get an acute accent by typing Option + E and then the letter. Similarly, circumflex is Option + I, grave accent is Option + backquote, tilde is Option + N, and umlaut is Option + U.

A quicker option though is to simply press the key of the letter you want to modify and hold it for a second until a small menu appears. Then just choose a number that corresponds to the modification you seek.

Digitize complex math expressions

If your studies or line of work require the use of complex math, you might be spending too much time crafting LaTeX and MathML expressions by hand. But as with nearly everything else nowadays, there’s an easier way.

MathKey is a Mac app specifically developed to write complex equations in academic papers and math documents. Instead of composing dozens of obscure symbols together, the app allows you to hand-write the equation using your trackpad (or mouse) and output perfect LaTeX or MathML, ready for publication.

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It’s likely that you won’t retain all the information provided here. But don’t worry, the only thing you need to keep is a supercharged search that can take you right back to the answer you’re looking for.

Lacona is an intelligent search for your Mac that contextually analyzes the query and outputs a range of possible solutions, whether it’s launching a certain app, looking it up online, or performing a pre-defined action.

Any question about Mac keyboard shortcuts symbols — such as “how to type copyright symbol on Mac?” — would be met with a guiding response. And all you have to do to start Lacona is press Option + Space.

So there are a lot of things your Mac is capable of that you might have not even considered before. With regards to symbols and characters, what you see on the keyboard is just a tiny slice compared to the total amount available. Using Mac symbols properly will enrich your communication, making it clear and efficient, especially if you get used to creating snippets with Rocket Typist, transferring math equations with MathKey, and keeping everything at the tips of your fingers with Lacona.

Best of all, the apps mentioned above are available to you on a free trial through Setapp, a platform of more than 150 specific Mac apps that are designed to make your days more productive and fun. Now you’re ready to solve some equations!

There are a number of different ways to lock or sleep your screen in macOS. Before we show them to you, however, it’s important to make the distinction between locking your screen and just putting it to sleep.

If you lock your Mac you’ll put it to sleep and need to type in your login password on your Mac’s lock screen (or unlock it with TouchID on a MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, or with an Apple Watch). If you put it to sleep, you won’t necessarily lock it. In order to lock your screen, you need to set up the password in System Preferences. Here’s how to do that.

How to set up a password to lock the screen

  1. Launch System Preferences either by clicking on its icon in the Dock or by choosing it from the Apple menu.
  2. Click on the Security & Privacy pane.
  3. Choose the General tab and check the option that starts ‘Require password…’
  4. Choose an option from the dropdown menu.

Now, whenever your Mac goes to sleep or a screensaver starts, it will lock and you’ll have to authenticate with your user password, Apple Watch or TouchID to gain access.

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How to lock your Mac

If you have a MacBook, a MacBook Air or a MacBook Pro, the quickest and easiest way to lock your Mac is just to shut the lid. When you do that, the Mac goes to sleep and when you open it again you’ll need to unlock it.

However, there are occasions when you’ll want to prevent anyone from seeing the screen without actually closing it. And, in any case, if you have an iMac, Mac mini or Mac Pro, it’s not an option. Here are some other ways you can lock your Mac’s display.

1. Use Apple menu

Go to the Apple menu and choose Sleep. This will display the login screen for your account and won’t unlock with a password (unless you’re wearing an Apple Watch when you do it and then it will lock and unlock immediately)

Tip: If you want your Mac to remain locked even when you’re close by and you have an Apple Watch, go to System Preferences>Security & Privacy>General and uncheck the Allow your Apple Watch to unlock your Mac option.

2. Use shortcuts

If you’re using a Mac that’s running macOS Catalina, go to the Apple menu and choose Lock Screen or press Command+Control+Q. This will lock your Mac and return you to the Login screen.

For older versions of the operating system, press Control+Shift+Power button (or Control+Shift+Eject if your Mac has an optical drive). It will lock the screen.

You can also use a keyboard shortcut to put your Mac to sleep. Press Command+Option+Power (or Eject). This works in a similar way to the previous one, but rather than just lock your Mac it powers down the hard drive, puts the CPU into low power mode and stops background tasks in order to save energy.

3. Set up a hot corner

Hot corners allow you to drag to the mouse pointer to one of the four corners of the screen to initiate an action – you can use one as a sleep shortcut on your Mac. To set it up:

  1. Launch System Preferences.
  2. Choose the Desktop & Screen Saver pane.
  3. Click the Hot Corners button at the bottom right of the window.
  4. In the drop down window, choose a corner.
  5. Click on the menu and choose either Start Screen Saver or Put Display to Sleep.

4. Use fast user switching

Fast user switching allows you to quickly log into another user account on your Mac. But you can also use it to return to the log in window, which locks your Mac. Got to System Preferences>Users & Groups and click the padlock, then type in your password. Click Login Options and check the box next to ‘Show fast user switch menu as.’ You can also choose whether to show the menu as your full name, the account name or an icon.

To lock your Mac, click the fast user switching menu at the right of the menu bar and choose Login Window…

5. Add Keychain Access to the menu bar

This option was removed in macOS Mojave but works on versions before High Sierra:

  1. Go to Finder.
  2. Choose Applications > Utilities.
  3. Launch Keychain Access.
  4. Click in the Keychain Access menu and select Preferences.
  5. Check the box next to Show keychain status in menu bar.
  6. You’ll see a lock in the Finder menu bar. Click it and choose Lock Screen to lock your Mac.

Other ways to protect your privacy

First of all, fet a Finder-like Terminal for Mac that will help you completely control the login settings. It’s called MacPilot. The app covers over 1,200 hidden macOS features. For privacy, you can go into the Login tab and customize access by users, enable the option of automatic screen locking, and edit launch items.

Lock Symbol In Mac App Download

If you’re looking for physical protection of your Mac, Beepify is the app you need. Whenever you have to step away from the computer in a public place, activate Beepify and it will be set to produce a loud sound in case someone tries to close the screen or disconnect charger.

One of the main reasons for locking your Mac when you step away from it is to stop prying eyes accessing your files, browser history, or anything else you don’t want them to see. CleanMyMac X has a tool that gives you even more privacy protection.

Lock Symbol In Mac Apps

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CleanMyMac’s Privacy tool allows you to quickly delete your browser history in Chrome, Firefox, and Safari. But it also allows you to delete message threads and attachments in Messages, and to remove entries from macOS’ recent files lists.

Lock Icon On Mac

Also, CleanMyMac’s Shredder is a quick and easy way to securely delete sensitive data. You can download CleanMyMac for free and give it a try.

As you can see, putting your Mac to sleep or locking it is very easy. There are lots of different ways to do it, although some are dependent on the version of macOS you’re using. If you regularly lock your Mac to prevent others accessing it, you should ensure your login password is strong and secure.

Finally, if privacy is important, CleanMyMac has a couple of tools that can help delete sensitive data.

Lock Symbol On Mac

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