Lisa wrote to ask how to type the Macs found in Apple’s 30th Anniversary Font:
I thought (the 30th anniversary font) was really cute … but I don’t know how to use them! Any ideas? I clicked on MAC ICON font in Pages but I couldn’t get the images to come out.
So you’ve downloaded the “hidden” 30th Anniversary Font Apple’s using on their website to celebrate the Mac’s birthday this month, and now you’d like to use it in your documents?
Well, you’ve come to the right place Lisa!
There are two ways to access those cool Macs found in the font: an easy way, and a hard(er) way.
As you might expect, the “easy” way comes at a cost because it requires the purchase of a cool little Mac utility called PopChar X by Ergonis Software.
PopChar X allows you to access ANY character found within the fonts stored on your Mac — including those 30th Anniversary Macs Apple tucked away deep within the “Private Use Area” of their custom font file.
Once installed, simply pop open PopChar X from your menu bar, select the “mac-icon-standard” font, and then click to select which Mac you’d like to insert into your document.
It’s really that easy!
But as I said, you’ll have to purchase PopChar X for €29,99 to access those Private Use characters.
See what I did there? PopChar X can be used for more than just entering cool little Macs into your documents. You can use it for characters like copyright, trademark, Apple logos, and even the Euro symbol! (or you could type Option-Shift-2).
So if you have a regular need to insert special characters on your Mac, PopChar X is about the most elegant way to do it. It’s there when you need it, and out of the way when you don’t.
The Hard(er) Way
But what if you only want to play with the 30th Anniversary Mac font and don’t particularly care to use special characters otherwise?
Well, that’s where it gets a bit tricky. Not hard. Just tricky.
1) Open System Preferences and click to open your Keyboard preference pane.
2) Click the Input Sources tab and then click the [+] button to add a new input source.
3) Scroll all the way down through the list until you see “Others”. Click Others and you’ll see Unicode Hex Input appear on the right.
4) Select Unicode Hex Input and then click Add.
5) With that done, now click the Keyboard tab and make sure that “Show Keyboard & Character Viewers in menu bar” is checked.
A small US Flag (or the flag representing the input source for your country) will appear on your menu bar.
This flag allows you to easily switch between Input Sources as well as quickly show both the Keyboard Viewer and the Character Viewer.
6) Now fire up your favorite text editor and click to create an insertion point.
7) Click the Flag on your menu bar, and change from (in my case) U.S. to Unicode Hex Input.
The flag will change to a black flag with U+ in the center of it:
8) At this point you can start “typing Macs”!
To do so, you’ll have to know the Unicode Hex code for the Mac you want to input.
As I mentioned, the Macs are kept in the Private Use Area of the font and the hex codes for those Macs range from E600 to E643. But they’re hex codes, so it’s not so straight-forward and running up the scale from 0 – 43!
Instead, you’ll press and hold Option and enter codes like E60F and E63A.
So how do you know which code to enter?
Well, that’s where this handy-dandy chart comes in:
Every one of the Macs starts with ‘E6‘.
Then enter the hexadecimal digit corresponding to the ROW of the Mac you want to enter.
Then enter the hexadecimal digit corresponding to the COLUMN of the Mac you want to enter.
So, to type a 20th Anniversary Macintosh, you would type:
Option + E612 and get this:
Like I said, using Unicode Hex Input is a little trickier to set up and use than a tool like PopChar X is, but once it’s all set up, you can use the same technique for other projects as well.