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Chapter 4. Keys & the Keyboard > Using Zapf Dingbats, Webdings, or Symbol

Using Zapf Dingbats, Webdings, or Symbol

Only read this if you’ve discovered a problem typing with these fonts!

In Mac OS X, the character encoding technology has changed. In all previous versions, the Macintosh operating system used ASCII, an international standard for Roman characters, that allows a maximum of 256 characters. Mac OS X uses something called Unicode, which allows over 65,000 characters, which means the Mac can now set type in alphabets such as Japanese, Arabic, or Chinese. But in Mac OS X applications that use Unicode, such as TextEdit, fonts like Zapf Dingbats and Webdings do not appear correctly. In fact, they don’t appear at all. If you want to use characters from a dingbat font, you’ll have to go through the steps described below.

To type with a dingbat font or symbol font:

Click once on the System Preferences icon in the Dock.

Click the “International” icon, then click the tab “Keyboard Menu.” You’ll get the pane shown below.

Put a checkmark next to “Character Palette.” Close the pane.

In your menu at the Finder, you now have a new item, a little flag, to the right of the Help menu. This is the Keyboard menu, as shown in the sidebar to the right.

When you want to set a character in one of these fonts, click in your document at the place where you want the character; your insertion point should be flashing (as explained in Chapter 13).

Go to the Keyboard menu and choose “Character Palette.” This brings up the Character Palette, as shown below.

This is the Keyboard menu.

Find the character you want to set, double-click it, and it will appear in your document where the insertion point is flashing. Close the Character Palette window (click in the tiny red button).

Choose “Character Palette” in this dialog box. Even if you use it rarely, it won’t hurt anything to have it available at all times.

For more details on how to use this Character Palette, see Chapter 26.

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