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Use Unicode symbols in iChat status messages Apps
Recently I noticed some buddies with unique iChat status messages -- one appeared to be upside down text, the other had small graphics around the text. After thinking about it for a bit (sure, I could have asked, but where's the challenge in that?), I figured out what they'd done: taken advantage of OS X's support for Unicode and used the Character Palette to embed Unicode characters in their status messages.

To customize your own status messages, I suggest building them in something like TextEdit, then copying and pasting the result into iChat. Launch TextEdit, then press Command-Option-T to bring up the Character Palette. I find it easiest to set the View pop-up to All Characters, and then click the by Category tab. Select a symbol you want to use, and then drag it to TextEdit (or click the Insert button). There are literally thousands of characters available, including Mac keyboard symbols (⌃ ⌘ ⌥), circled letters and numbers (①②③④⑤, ⒶⒷⒸⒹⒺ), bar graph elements (▇▆▆▅▄▃▂▁), and much more. Click through the various entries in the categories on the left, build something you like, then copy and paste it into iChat as your status message.

I'm not sure how Unicoded status messages appear on other platforms and/or chat clients, but they work perfectly with others running iChat on OS X. (Note that this hint may not look correct on some browsers or operating systems, as they may not correctly display the Unicode characters I've embedded in the hint -- and that's why I write out Command in other hints, instead of inserting the Command key's Unicode symbol.)
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Use Unicode symbols in iChat status messages
Authored by: sharumpe on Oct 17, '08 09:34:44AM

Cool! Chalk one up for cross-platform "displayability".

I'm on SLES 11 / Firefox 3 and I'm seeing the symbols you described.



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Use Unicode symbols in iChat status messages
Authored by: happyjaxx on Oct 17, '08 09:47:18AM

You can even put ☭ :-) Unicode is universal and for everyone after all!



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Use Unicode symbols in iChat status messages
Authored by: delight1 on Oct 17, '08 10:05:25AM

this qualifies as a hint?



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Use Unicode symbols in iChat status messages
Authored by: chimerical on Oct 17, '08 11:15:15AM

I thought it was a useful reminder of that there's Unicode support, although I wish that they had also posted some hints on how to access a set of Unicode characters in OS X.



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Use Unicode symbols in iChat status messages
Authored by: boxcarl on Oct 17, '08 11:40:33AM
Use Unicode symbols in iChat status messages
Authored by: marksch on Oct 17, '08 12:26:06PM

I'd say it is completely obvious that the status message can contain unicode text. Just select a Japanese, Chinese, Arabic or Hebrew keyboard lay-out and type away!

---
Economy-x-Talk
Have your own custom software created
http://economy-x-talk.com



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Use Unicode symbols in iChat status messages
Authored by: DougAdams on Oct 17, '08 11:03:58AM

I use this technique for folder bookmark names in the Bookmarks Bar of Safari and FireFox. Some of the miscellaneous symbols are great for keeping the names short (and thus enabling more folders to be visible along the Bar) and quickly identifiable. For instance, the heart, apple, and various star symbols.

---
Doug's AppleScripts for iTunes
dougscripts.com



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Use Unicode symbols in iChat status messages
Authored by: bhagemann on Oct 17, '08 04:02:49PM
and in case you missed it,

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Doesn't this duplicate the Input Menu?
Authored by: mustang_dvs on Oct 20, '08 07:37:09AM

This seems like a much more convoluted way to access the functionality found in the Input Menu's Character Palette, which is accessible in any application...



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Doesn't this duplicate the Input Menu?
Authored by: robg on Oct 20, '08 08:09:27PM

I'm confused -- this "method" is using the character palette. What's the convoluted bit? You can't type in the character palette, only in the keyboard viewer (which won't show unicode symbols).

-rob.



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