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July 25, 2011

Mac OS X Lion: Keyboard Shortcuts Reference

I live in Europe and am always looking for characters that aren’t on the U.S. English keyboard on my Mac. I found a pretty cool web page last year with the Mac keyboard short cuts at Washington State University. A few of the keys are different with Mac OS X Lion, but overall it’s close. I wanted an updated reference and I added the visual Keyboard Viewer graphics. They are a nice visual overview of what’s available.

Mac OS X Lion did add a pretty cool new feature. If you hold down a key with one of the accents, a little selector bubble will appear over your cursor. Here’s what happens when I hold the letter a down:
Mac OS X Lion Keyboard Trick

That’s a pretty cool trick. My son, Spencer, pointed out that this is how the iPhone works.

Here’s the Mac OS X Lion Keyboard Shortcuts Reference… enjoy!

U.S. Keyboard

With the Option Key

With the Option + Shift Keys

Accent Key Strokes Available Characters
Grave ` option ` + the character À È Ì Ò Ù  à è ì ò ù
Acute ´ option e + the character Á É Í Ó Ú á é í ó ú
Circumflex ^ option i + the character Â Ê Î Ô Û â ê î ô û
Tilde ~ option n + the character Ã Ñ Õ ã ñ õ
Umlaut ¨ option u + the character Ä Ë Ï Ö Ü Ÿ ä ë ï ö ü ÿ




+Option +Option-




+Option +Option-


A å Å 0 º
B ı 1 ¡
C ç Ç 2
D Î 3 £
E ´ 4 ¢
F ƒ Ï 5
G © ˝ 6 §
H ˙ Ó 7
I ˆ 8 °
J Ô 9 ª ·
K ˚
L ¬ Ò = ±
M µ Â [
N ˜ ]
O ø Ø \ « »
P π ; Ú
Q œ Œ æ Æ
R ® , ¯
S ß Í . ˘
T ˇ / ÷ ¿
U ¨
X ˛
Y ¥ Á
Z Ω ¸


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Tom Nunamaker

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Bryant Carreras - July 31, 2011 Reply

Does anyone know how to disable this feature?

Tom Nunamaker - July 31, 2011 Reply

Hi Bryant,

I don’t know if you can as it is built into Lion. I’ll google a bit for it. Does anyone else know?

John - August 5, 2011 Reply

Oh goodness, please tell me you’ve figured out a way to disable this pop-up bubble feature. I think I may just go insane.

issacar - August 11, 2011 Reply

I want to disable this feature. I didn’t like!!!

    Tom Nunamaker - August 12, 2011 Reply

    I’m not sure if you can. If you don’t use it, it shouldn’t get in the way.

Staggo Lee - August 12, 2011 Reply

This is fantastic. I thought I’d have to use Special Characters, which is a non-starter. Now, it’s a breeze to write in French. I wonder what else Lion has stored inside?

    Tom Nunamaker - August 12, 2011 Reply

    I was always struggling to find special characters too and now it’s dead simple. My wife is a native Dutch speaker and LOVES this feature. She’s also fluent in German and French, which use special characters of course, so she’s quite happy with this ability.

Hugh - January 28, 2013 Reply

not only that, but it’s actually there in Snow Leopard (and who knows what older vintages of OS X). Nice.

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