Creating Fractions in OS X
I spent a bit time today trying to figure out how to insert a fraction (½) into a Pages document. Word automatically creates them as you type but there’s no such feature in Pages. Anyway, I did a bit of digging around and eventually found out how to do it. It’s not a very obvious method and I figured many less experienced Mac users would struggle to find out this feature, so I’m documenting it here for posterity (and Google).
Basically, to create fractions you need to open the Character Palette. You can do this in a couple of ways.
- Open the Fonts Panel (in most Cocoa apps the shortcut is apple-T).
- Click the action button (the one that looks like a gear).
- Choose ‘Characters…’, this opens the Character Palette.
The other way to open the Character Palette is a little more convoluted but has the option to add it to the menu bar for quick access.
- Open System Preferences
- Select International Preferences.
- Select the Input Menu tab.
- Check the box to enable the Character Palette (while you’re here it’s a good idea to enable the Keyboard Viewer too — OS9 users will remember this utility as Key Caps).
- Check the box ‘Show input menu in menu bar’ (the menu bar item will appear under the flag of your chosen language).
- To open the Character Palette, click the menu bar item and select ‘Show Character Palette’
Now you’ve got access to the Character Palette, it’s straight forward to find those fractions. Change the view drop-down to display ‘All Characters’. In the left-hand column, choose ‘Numbers and Number Symbols’, highlight the fraction required and click ‘Insert’ (make sure you have the cursor at the point in the document where the fraction is to appear).
With the Character Palette open it’s worth exploring it a little to discover some of it’s lesser known features (including a complete Braille alphabet).
Posted 7 years, 8 months ago