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Key Viewer ... Old-time Mac users will remember the Desktop Accessory called Key Caps. Key Caps made it very simple to look up how to get your keyboard to input special characters. Apple dropped Key Caps in Mac OS X 10.2. So, I made Key Viewer.

Apple still ships the Keyboard Viewer as part of OS X, but without Key Caps, there is not a simple method of invoking it. Key Viewer is simply a wrapper around a script that makes it easy to call up the Keyboard Viewer.


Mac OS X 10.4 or later

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Key Viewer User Discussion

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Beri~ Member IconReview+2

I was unable to get Key Viewer to work once I upgraded to Snow Leopard.

Compared to JimW's method, there's a slightly different way to access Keyboard Viewer in Snow Leopard. Same method, just different names and menus.
Here's how I do it in OS 10.6.3:

~ Open system preferences
~ Click on “Language & Text”
~ Click on “input sources” tab
~ Tick box at top of list that says “keyboard & character viewer”
~ Then tick box on bottom right of the window that says “show input menu in menu bar”
~ From this input menu, select “show keyboard viewer”.

Done! =)

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Version 1.0
Steven Jay Cohen (Developer) Member IconDev+51
Steven Jay Cohen (Developer)

Oh, since this is such a simple application, I thought I shoud give you all the source code:
open /System/Library/Components/KeyboardViewer.component/Contents/SharedSupport/KeyboardViewerServer.app

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Version 1.0
chrisB Member IconComment+65

The same concept and (almost) the same name as my small application:


The difference is: Your application is twice as big and not Universal.

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Version 1.0
StevenJayCohen Member IconComment+51

And some people think that using menubar space on something like this is wasteful. I have a 12" powerbook. I find it useful. I thought others might find it useful, so I posted it.

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Version 1.0
JimW Member IconComment+455

While it is nice that this is free, it is a script that is unnecessary for most of us. Keyboard View has always been in OS X as a menu item but the method of access is different from Classic. Here's how to set it up:

- Open 'System Preferences'
- Open 'International Preferences'
- Click on the following items:
'Keyboard Viewer'
'Character Palette' (optional)
'Show input menu in menu bar' (at bottom)
- Close the window

The Keyboard will now be in your menu bar underneath the flag.

That's all their is to it. It is available to all programs that display the menu bar.

Some may also wish to add US Extended as a keyboard option from the list as well.

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Version 1.0
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Current Version (1.x)


Downloads 2,638
Version Downloads 2,638
License Free
Date 16 May 2007
Platform OS X / PPC 32 / Intel 32
Price Free
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