Typing Special Symbols in OS X and iOS

I’m a university law professor, and apparently I’m the only person who has ever wanted to type the © and ® and ™ symbols.

I’m a university law professor, and apparently I’m the only person who has ever wanted to type the © and ® and ™ symbols. I can’t find them on my iPhone, and I can’t find them on my Mac. I need to type these symbols regularly.

On your iPhone, most special symbols and accented letters can be found by pressing and holding down different keys on your iPhone’s keyboard. Give it a try--you’ll be surprised at what you find when you press and hold on a key.

But those three common symbols, the © and ® and ™ symbols, can only be found on the iPhone’s hidden emoticon keyboard. Strangely enough, Apple has only enabled this emoticon keyboard on iPhones sold in Japan. So if you want access to this special keyboard, you’ll have to cough up 99 cents to purchase the iEmoji app from the App Store.


iEmoji opens up a whole new world of symbols and icons on your iPhone.

Not only will iEmoji give you the three symbols that are currently missing from your iPhone’s keyboard, but it will give you over 600 adorable icons you can use as well. While the three symbols you need should display on anyone’s computer or phone, the other icons will only appear on iPhones, so they are best used for sending text messages to other iPhone users.

Oh, and on your Mac, the copyright symbol © is Option-G, the registered trademark symbol ® is Option-R, and the trademark symbol ™ is Option-2. For additional symbols, check the menus in the applications you’re using for an “Insert special characters” option or install the handy shareware program PopChar X (€30, ergonis.com).


This is how Keyboard Viewer looks when you press the Option key.

To see which symbols have keyboard shortcuts associated with them, enable the Keyboard Viewer Input menu in your menu bar (located in System Preferences > International in 10.5, or System Preferences > Language & Text in 10.6). Then, choose Show Keyboard Viewer from the new icon in your menu bar and press Option, Shift, or both Option and Shift to see the different symbols that you can type.