Lee Byron

tiltype unicode from the keyboard

I’m often looking up Unicode code points to use in various places. There are two ways I type them quickly from the keyboard.

The first way is a cheat. In the first tab of Keyboard preferences, ensure “Press 🌐 to: ” is set to “Show Emoji & Symbols”. Now tap the fn key to bring up the Symbols picker. The search does a half decent job of finding the symbol you need. Clicking it behaves as a key press.

The second way is best if you know the code. From the Keyboard preferences in the “Input Sources” tab, press the + button and add the “Unicode Hex Input” keyboard. When using this keyboard, ⌥+<key> no longer produces an alternate symbol, but instead allows you to type in hex codes.

Now by holding ⌥ and typing 229b, I can type: ⊛

One small caveat is that this only supports 4-digit UTF-16 codes, but it does support surrogate pairs. This is annoying to type, but does allow entering Emoji directly via keyboard.

For example holding ⌥ and typing d83ddcbe: 💾