“Extra-special” characters on an Italian keyboard with Mac OS

Apple Macs are pretty good for inserting accented characters. Even though the Italian keyboard already has a lot of accented characters, you can get even more by holding down a letter for a little longer than normal. This gives you a further set of options:

Choosing accented characters

Choosing accented characters

Press the number associated with the character you want and it gets inserted. Neat.

Then there’s the trick of opening the Mac OS keyboard viewer (from the menu bar (top-right of screen) or with the shortcut: cmd ⌘ + ctrl ⌃ + Space ), which allows you to hold down Shift / cmd ⌘ / opt ⌥ / ctrl ⌃—or any combination thereof—to see what character would be generated:

Mac OS keyboard viewer

Mac OS keyboard viewer

There are lots of sites showing Mac OS shortcut keys, so I won’t repeat them here. What I want to post here are the hard-to-find / easily forgotten / non-obvious ones on an Italian keyboard—and especially the ones that aren’t easily discoverable using the keyboard viewer. It’s a personal list of useful keys and not in any way intended to be comprehensive.

Remember: these are always on an Italian keyboard.

Character name Character Shortcut
Curly left-double-quote opt ⌥ + 2
Curly right-double-quote opt ⌥ + Shift + 2
Curly left-single-quote opt ⌥ + 3
Curly right-single-quote opt ⌥ + Shift + 3
Back-tick ` opt ⌥ + \