#36. Inserting Special Characters and Glyphs
Many of the special typographic features within fontsfrom mundane bullets and em dashes to fancy fractions and ligaturescannot be found on the keyboard. InDesign provides quick access to special characters in the Insert Special Character submenu in the Type menu and the Glyphs palette. (A glyph is a form of a character; for example, some fonts include several different versions of an ampersand. The smallest unit of a font is actually a glyph, not a character.) If you frequently access the same glyphs, you can save them as glyph sets.
Inserting Common Special Characters
From the Insert Special Character submenu, you can insert commonly used characters such as a Bullet •, Copyright Symbol ©, Ellipsis ..., Paragraph Symbol ¶, Registered Trademark Symbol ®, Em Dash, or En Dash . The character is inserted at the text insertion point and formatted with the active font. If you end up inserting these characters often, you might want to learn and remember their standard keyboard shortcuts or create your own (see #3). Applications such as KeyCaps can show you the keyboard shortcuts.
To access every variation of every character within a font, choose Type > Glyphs to open the Glyphs palette (Figure 36). To insert a glyph at the text insertion point, scroll through the palette to locate it and then double-click it. The glyph is inserted and formatted according to the surrounding character formats.
Figure 36. The Glyphs palette provides quick access to all the glyphs within the selected font. Double-click a glyph to insert it in text at the text insertion point.
The Glyphs palette provides access to all the fonts that are currently active on your system and contains a few options to choose from:
Creating Glyph Sets
If you use certain glyphs frequentlyfor example, if you're working on a cookbook and need to access various fractionsyou can save them as a glyph set for quick access. Glyph sets are saved with your copy of InDesign.
To create a glyph set:
As with other glyphs, you can insert a glyph from a set by double-clicking it.