1/ Quick special characters — If you dabble in graphic design or publishing or you just like writing café properly (instead of cafe) you’ll eventually need hidden typographic characters such as ®, ©, ™, ° and maybe even € and £. The following keyboard shortcuts might be worth memorizing:
These keyboard shortcuts work in any application and in any field into which you can enter text.
2/ Using the Keyboard Viewer — OS X has Keyboard and Character Viewers. The Keyboard Viewer displays an onscreen representation of your Mac’s keyboard, and lets you insert a character into your text just by clicking its key on a virtual keyboard. Choose Show Keyboard Viewer from the Input menu at top-right of your Mac’s menu bar. (If this isn’t visible, open System Preferences in El Capitan, choose Language & Region, click Keyboard Preferences and turn on Show input menu in menu bar. In Yosemite or earlier, it’s in System Preferences>Keyboard, and tick “Show Keyboard & Character Viewers in menu bar’.)
You get a small window with the Command key symbol on it or, if you’ve enabled multiple languages for your keyboard, it looks like a flag instead.
When you first open the Keyboard Viewer, it matches the characters you see on your keyboard, which isn’t very exciting. To view more characters, press and hold modifier keys on your keyboard. For example, if you press and hold the Shift key, the top row of keys changes to a tilde, exclamation point, ampersand, and so on. If you press and hold the Option key, you see even more characters, as shown below.
3/ See special characters as you type — Recent versions of OS X provide an additional way to access the accented or alternate versions of a character while typing. Just as in iOS, hold down the letter’s key for a second and you’ll see a list of alternates appear in a popup menu. To use one of the alternates, either type the number that appears beneath it, or physically click the one you want. To dismiss the menu, either type a different character or press the Escape key. If no additional characters are available for the key you’re holding, the menu won’t appear.
4/ The Character Viewer — The super handy Character Viewer (called ‘Show Emoji & Symbols’ in El Capitan) conveniently clusters the characters in all your active fonts into logical groups. For example, the elusive Ⓟ character lives in the Letterlike Symbols group. Click once to see variations of that character in other fonts, and double-click to insert it into your text. The Character Viewer even remembers the characters you use the most — click ‘Frequently Used’ to see them. You can also add a character to your list of Favorites [sic] by clicking the ‘Add to Favorites’ button beneath its preview on the right.
These Character tips came from Macworld – this post has one more about them.
5/ Quick El Capitan (and Safari 9 for Yosemite) sound tip — You know those annoying sites that immediately start talking or playing music as soon as they load? Now you can turn them off in the Tab bar. Just click the little speaker button. Phew! (This assumes you use Tabbed Browsing, which you can turn on in Safari>Preferences>Tabs … and if you’re not using Tabbed Browsing, you’re not living, believe me.]