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Special Characters — An Alfred App Workflow

written by Norman Posselt

As we are planning here @typefacts to revive the website and its content with a soft relaunch later this year some new articles will be written in the meantime.

Today marks the release of Alfred 3. In my opinion it’s a very handy tool for Mac OS X that boosts your efficiency with hotkeys, keywords, text expansion and more. One of its core functions is the ability to use and create so called workflows. These are plugins to get even more things done.

Two years ago I thought it would be nice to have a workflow to easily access a bunch of symbols that have no shortcut on keyboards. Now with the latest release and the help of Frank Rausch and his coding skills we’re proud to present you the first version of Special Characters — a workflow to search for special characters and to paste them in the frontmost app.

Firstly you need Alfred 3 with a Powerpack licence.

Secondly you’ve to download the latest release directly from GitHub*, unzip and install (double click) the workflow while Alfred is running in the background.

Thirdly launch Alfred and type tf in the appearing window. That starts the workflow and is necessary all the time you want to use it. After that you’ll see a list of all characters available.

By adding a keyword like math, prime, quote, space, exclamation, …, just the relevant symbols appear — with their unicode-values underneath. Navigate to the character, press the Enter key, and in a blink of an eye it’s in the frontmost app. In addition you can press alt (⌥) while selecting the character to copy the Hex Unicode or press cmd (⌘) to copy the HTML Entity.

In the next few weeks we’ll put the code on our official github account. So feel free to comment on symbols and features.

Again a big thank you goes out to Frank. Without him that workflow wouldn’t be so slick and snappy!

*What you get is a zip archive that includes the source code too.