TIP: Unicode Characters in the Calculator

The Calculator—the real one, in your Applications folder, not the wimpy orange wannabe in the Dashboard—has some nifty subtle features. It can even display a character if you give the character’s Unicode ID number!

1. Open the Calculator that’s in your Applications folder. If it’s already open, click the C (Clear) key to get rid of any numbers already displayed.

2. Choose View > Programmer to use the programming Calculator.

3. In the top row of buttons, click Unicode at the left, and 16 at the right to switch to hexadecimal input (see the picture below).

4. Enter 2108.

That’s it. In the lower left of the display, you’ll see the character with the Unicode ID of U+2108. It’s a scruple, which I picked because… well, because whether you have many, a few, or none at all, you probably never knew what a scruple actually looks like.

calc picture

Input a hex number for a character code (click the Unicode and 16 buttons), and you'll see the character in the lower left of the display.

(Okay, while I present this as an interesting little feature of the Calculator, it’s totally useless. You’re better off looking up Unicode characters in the Character Viewer—renamed in Snow Leopard from “Character Palette”—because you can see what it looks like in different fonts, and enter it into a document. And, while you can enter the Unicode ID into Character Viewer’s search field, you can also just look for characters by name from that search field, too.)


2 Responses to TIP: Unicode Characters in the Calculator

  1. Jean dubois says:

    Nice one! Thanks

  2. I recently came across your blog and have been learning along. I thought I would leave my first remark. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Fine blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

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