The inspiration for this post all started out in math class. We are studying use of variables, pre-algebra, you know that stuff. And we have always been told– Don’t use an X for multiplication, you could get it confused with the variable! So on we went, using the dot [•]. She would always teach using an overhead projector, but when it came to a pre-test, she had to us it on the computer. But there was only one downside–she had to use the X for multiplication! o people (as she predicted) were confusing the X or the variable, and she is saying “Sorry, I can’t make a dot on my computer”. So I say, “Actually, you can. option eight”. And She’s like “What? Come over here and show me”. So I go over there (all f the teachers have new MacBook Pros, similar to my MacBook) and type option 8. below and behold, There it was: •
Trick #1:Your Mac keyboard has potential
So she was incredibly happy with this, and I just had to- I told her that you can unlock LOTS of different charters by holding the option or the option+shift key(s). And good thing I had LOTS of experience with this, because next she asked” So how can I see all of the characters I can type?” Good thing I specialize in this area. Well, All you do is go into system preferences, click on International (Language and text if in snow leopard), Select input sources, check Keyboard Viewer (should be somethin along those lines for 10.5 and 10.6), Check Show input menu in menubar, click the little american flag, click Keyboard viewer and Voilà! Press the option or Option and shift keys and it will show the large array of different characters you can type. Here are most of them:
Now, I really don’t know how to do this on a PC. If you can, it’s probably far too complicated to do that well, I would simply suggest you get a Mac.
So if you are a scientist or Math Teacher, NEVER use an X for multiplication again!!
Hey Max! I am so glad you told us this! The guy I work for is always wanting me to use these special characters, like they use in Swedish names, but I never knew how to get them. You have saved me! Thanks!