MacWorld Editors' Choice
Using a Mac without PopChar is like driving a BMW only in first gear or playing a piano with one hand.
founder of MyFonts.com PopChar X is so much easier to use than Apple's character viewer. It is a 'Mac Essential', the full-featured, well polished, champion of its class.
Jim Cole, Jacksonville, FL
With PopChar X, Ergonis delivers a program that is definitely one of the must-have Mac utilities.
macnotes.com It's a must have for anyone who deals with fonts on a daily basis. There are many font utilities out there, but this one is the leader of the pack!
Of all the neat utilities I have found for the Mac, one of the most useful has been PopChar X.
TheMacFeed.com I have been using PopChar since it first appeared in 1987. Twenty years and many versions later, I still use it!
Harry Babad, maccompanion.com I find it one of the most indispensable utilities on my Mac. It has always been great and just gets better and better.
Australia I've used PopChar for a long time. And it just keeps getting better. Super software. Simple to use. Reasonably priced.
Art Allen Stuart,
Most of your fonts contain thousands of characters, many more than you can access from the keyboard.
If you want to get the most out of your fonts, then PopChar is the right tool for you.
PopChar makes "typing" of unusual characters easy without having to remember keyboard combinations.
Whenever you need a special character, PopChar is there to help.
Click the "P" in the menu bar to display a table of characters. Select the desired character and it instantly appears in your document.
PopChar works with all modern applications that support Unicode. It makes it easy to navigate and search within fonts that contain thousands of characters. Search for characters by their names, find fonts that contain certain characters, explore the character set of fonts, collect your favorite characters, insert HTML symbols. PopChar makes all these font-related tasks easy.
With PopChar, you can also take a look at fonts from a designer's perspective – see a font preview, check out what a given text fragment looks like in a certain font, and print beautiful font sheets.
Starting with PopChar 7, you can even find special characters by simply drawing them.
Features, Installation, Requirements
For more information on how to insert special characters, visit the Features page
- Inserts special characters right into your document.
- Full Unicode support
- Search for characters
- Find characters by drawing their shapes
- Find similar characters
- Custom favorites section
- Magnifier tool
- Work across font boundaries
- "Reverse search" for fonts that contain a particular character
- Recent characters view
- Font preview and sample text view
- Font information
- View and print font sheets
- More ...
To install PopChar X, download it from our downloads page. PopChar X is distributed as a Mac OS X disk image (DMG). Once you have mounted the disk image, simply double-click the PopChar icon to install and launch PopChar.
As long as you do not have a license key, PopChar operates in trial mode with some special characters disabled. When you purchase a license key and enter it in the Registration window of PopChar X, the dimmed characters will immediately become active.
In recent versions of OS X, Apple has included the Apple Color Emoji font with hundreds of color symbols and emojis. Apple updated the font a number of times with Yosemite and El Capitan. The latest version of the font now conforms to Unicode 8 and contains more than 1000 symbols.
With PopChar X, you can browse the beautifully designed color symbols in Apple Color Emoji, search for particular ideograms by name, and insert them as characters in applications that know how to handle color fonts.
Starting with version 7.2, PopChar knows the Mandarin pronunciations of more than 40,000 and English descriptions of more than 20,000 Chinese characters. Point at a character to see these details at the bottom of the PopChar window.
You can also search for words in descriptions. For example, simply enter an English word in PopChar's search field to quickly find all Chinese characters whose descriptions contain that word.
With PopChar 7, finding a special character is as easy as drawing it on the screen.
With PopChar, inserting any character is as easy as clicking it in the PopChar table, and you can even search large fonts for characters by their Unicode names. Unfortunately, you often don't know the Unicode name of the desired character, so you don't know which search terms to enter. But you do know what the desired character looks like. With PopChar 7, you can now simply show PopChar what you want.
PopChar 7 introduces a new "Shape Finder", which allows you to draw the shape of a character on the screen to tell PopChar what you are looking for. You just draw the approximate shape and click the Find button and PopChar comes up with all characters that resemble this shape. It has never been easier to find special characters, even in Unicode fonts with thousands of characters.
Easily find similar shapes based on a known character.
The Shape Finder can also be used with PopChar's new "Find Similar Shape" context command, which allows you to start with a character in the table, optionally add a few extra strokes, and quickly find characters that look similar.
See also the special topics covered on our Tips Pages.