Using Glyph Shortcuts in Your Design Software


When you are building an intricate design, you may notice some typographic font features (from bullets and em dashes to tildes and copyright symbols) can’t be found on your keyboard.

Have no fear! Your design software makes these irregular characters (called glyphs) simple to add or retrieve. For example, Adobe InDesign has collected many of these characters and displayed them in an easily-accessible flyout panel. Quark offers several keyboard shortcuts as well.

Here are some shortcuts to save you time.

Adobe Shortcuts

When using Adobe, grab the Type menu and pull up the “Insert Special Character” submenu. Here you can choose from five more submenus: symbols, markers, hyphens and dashes, quotation marks, and “other.” From these categories, you can insert items like bullet characters, trademark symbols, smart (or curly) quotes, and more. To see all the characters in a font, use the Glyphs panel, and if you frequently access the same glyphs, you can save them as glyph sets.

Quark Shortcuts

In Quark, you can insert a special character from the menu bar following these steps:

  1. Choose Utilities > Insert Character >Special or Utilities > Insert Character > Nonbreaking Special.
  2. Choose the special character you want to insert on your page, or to view the symbols for invisible characters, choose View > Invisibles.
  3. To insert a special character using the Glyphs palette, choose Window > Glyphs. Double-click on the glyph to insert it into your text.

There are also handy keyboard shortcuts for inserting glyphs and special characters directly into your design. Here are just a few:


Want to reduce stress and pick up the pace? While these shortcuts take a bit of practice to master, they’ll increase both the efficiency and excellence of your next masterpiece!

Know Your Onions: Graphic Design

by Drew de Soto

This book is practical and immediate, without being condescending or overly technical. It is like having a graphic design mentor who will help you come up with ideas, develop your concepts, and implement them in a way that is engaging and humorous. It gives readers the experience and ability that normally comes from years of on-the-job training. All of the essential techniques of graphic design and its digital implementation are covered.

Read this book and gain 25 years of experience in how to think like a creative, act like a businessman and design like a god.

This book is designed like a notebook, with all the authors' tips and knowledge already inside. However, it also includes blank pages that allow the user to personalize this reference book with specific notes that are relevant to his or her studio, suppliers or clients.