Many books — especially the textbooks that Apple has suggested iBooks Author be used to create — use special characters, such as accented letters. You can add special characters to your text by using keyboard shortcuts. You can find these shortcuts visually by following these steps:


Choose App→System Preferences..

The System Preferences application opens.


Click the Language & Text icon.

The Language & Text system preference opens.


Open the Language & Text system preference’s Input Sources pane.

The Mac’s Help Center (which you can access by choosing Help from the Mac OS X menu bar in any application) lists the various ways to use special characters. Search for accents to get the related help topics.


Select both the Keyboard & Character Viewer option and the Show Input Menu in Menu Bar option.

Mac OS X has a tool called the Character Viewer that lets you find and insert any of hundreds of such characters — called glyphs — available in your Mac’s fonts. To open the Character Viewer, choose Edit→Special Characters.


In the Mac OS X menu bar, click the icon menu that displays an asterisk (*) in a box, and then choose its Show Keyboard Viewer menu option.

An onscreen keyboard opens.


Hold down the Option key.

The Keyboard Viewer’s display changes, showing all the characters you can get by pressing and holding Option when you click them. For example, the O key on the Keyboard Viewer changes to ø, indicating that pressing Option+O results in the ø character.


Hold down Option+Shift and click a letter to have the Keyboard Viewer display the characters available when you hold Option+Shift and press a letter. When done, click the Keyboard Viewer’s Close box to close it.

For example, pressing Option+Shift+O gets you Ø.

To insert accents (the orange keys in the Keyboard Viewer), press the accent’s shortcut, release the keys, and then click the letter you want to apply it to in your text. For example, when you hold Option in the Keyboard Viewer, the E key turns to the ´ symbol (the acute accent) and its key turns orange. That means if you press Option+E, release the keys, and then press a vowel such as O, you get the acute accent on that vowel.