Jun 29, 2012

Characters Review - Symbols Finally a Cinch to Get

If you are any sort of designer or developer, you must know how hard it is to get the non-standard symbols out of your font table onto your designs or websites. There are plenty of HTML entities that you can Google to find the "code" to certain symbols, but there was never an easy way to this. However, most of the used symbols on the web, have special names, like "&copy".

For example, finding the system bullet point is nearly impossible on the web. It's such a needed character to many Photoshop designers (as Photoshop never supported bullet lists out of the box), so you have to mimic your own. Think of if you can have a dedicated application for all your symbols... now you can with the new Mac application, Characters by Gustavs Cirulis.

So Functional

Characters features a very streamlined, Mac-like GUI for choosing all kinds of symbols. Sure, there is practically a keyboard command for every symbol on the Mac, but it is far from convenient. Characters takes the fuss away from finding that certain character your looking for, and let's you focus on what you do best.

The main thing I really love about Characters is that it is so simple, yet so useful. You have to modes (see designer/developer at the bottom of the app) and a search box... nothing else, not even what the application is called or even how to contact Gustavs. No matter what you are looking for, you're going to have quite the selection. I really love that nearly every character is built into such a tiny application.

You can either get the HTML entity or the character itself, to paste into Photoshop or even your favorite email application!

Too Many Choices

Not only does Characters nicely break every symbol into groups, it even gives you a nice drop down list on what to display. If you don't want to clog up the window with the many Cyrillic or Latin symbols, you can easily hide it from the entire application, even when searching. That feature I really like.

However, I do wish Characters has a "most useful" section showing the characters users need the most; that would be a nice complication of what symbols designers/developers actually need.


Give it a try!

Like many applications for designers and developers, Characters is sadly not free, but does retail at a nice cost of $2.99. For only a mere three dollars, you can speed up your workflow as you will not be wasting your precious time looking for measly icons. You can find their quite nice looking website at the link below:

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