There are times when you need to use an obscure character, and you don’t feel like screwing around with the option key for a half-hour to find out how to type it. Turns out, there is a very easy way to display a Character Viewer in Mac OS X.

First, go to the Language & Text pane of System Preferences. Then, navigate to the Input Sources tab. Now, click the check box next to Keyboard & Character Viewer, and click the check box next to Show Input menu in menu bar.

Now, click on the flag icon (Alternately, a grey box icon) that has now appeared in your menu bar. Click on Show Character Viewer, you should be presented with this window:

Screen shot 2009-11-07 at 12.00.04 PM

You now have a visual display of the available characters. Enjoy, but remember that not every platform on the web will accept or display some of the characters.

Photo Credit: ccarlstead