Keyboard Shortcuts for Inserting Special Characters in iBooks Author

By Galen Gruman

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:

1Choose App→System Preferences..

The System Preferences application opens.

2Click the Language & Text icon.

The Language & Text system preference opens.

3Open 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.

4Select 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.

5In 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.

6Hold 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.

7Hold 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.