Unicode Hex Input on OS X Leopard
On Twitter, a “Retweet” is how we pass along interesting content to our followers. For example:
Notice the “RT” prefix, indicating this is a “Retweet”. People also spell out “Retweet”, but RT seems to be far more popular. Note that Retweeting is not an official Twitter feature, it’s just something people do.
There is another way, however. Many people now use the recycle symbol ♺ to indicate Retweets. I think this looks nicer than the alternatives, although ♺ has drawbacks:
- It consumes three bytes, cutting into your 140 byte limit.
- It might not display properly. When I use Twhirl, ♺ shows up as an empty box. (This could be the font I’m using, I need to investigate further.)
Finding the ♺ Character
You won’t find ♺ on your keyboard. On OS X, you can go to
Edit -> Special Characters... to bring up this screen:
After a lot of scrolling and searching, you’ll eventually find the “RECYCLING SYMBOL FOR GENERIC MATERIALS” as shown above.
Typing ♺ and Other Unicode Characters
Provided you know the Unicode hex value (♺ = 267A), you can directly type the character. Just do this:
- From the Apple menu, select
- Click on
- Select the
- Scroll down and make these selections: U.S., U.S. Extended, and Unicode Hex Input
Via someone’s advice on Twitter, I found this blog entry explaining the same thing, but he (?) did not mention selecting “U.S. Extended”. Without that, this technique does not work.
Now, to create the ♺ symbol, hold
option and type 267a.
- The Special Characters screen shows the hex values for characters in the tooltip for each character. Just hover your mouse pointer over the character for a few seconds.
- I found another article that says to hold down shift and option, but it works fine for me without the shift key.
- This bug may affect you.