Alphabetical Keyboard Characters in OS X


If you, like me, use the weird symbols on your keyboard to help you sort files in the Finder, then you’ll be happy to find that I went through the trouble of not only naming a folder full of folders with top-row keyboard characters so you can see exactly how they sort, and then naming those folders so you know what key commands will produce them, but I also made it downloadable so you can just use it yourself. I put this folder on my Desktop for quick reference.

See here for a web table for every last keyboard character in alphabetical order.


3 thoughts on “Alphabetical Keyboard Characters in OS X

  1. Can you go on more details on how you use each symbol?

    I use only the numbers exclusively for getting some folders out of alphabetical order (like ” 00-important-folder ” or ” 0-important-folder ” ).

    I do this mostly because I work on both windows and linux. And sometimes, the order of symbols in one differs from another system. But alphabetic and numerical ordering doesn’t suffer from this issue.

    1. Primarily, I use the underscore at the start of filenames to drive them to the top of the sort order (when sorting alphabetically, of course).

      I have also been devising a plain-text journaling system, which employs the non-numeric and non-alphabet keyboard characters. This is to help me group documents of similar content. I’m working on a lengthy post about this system.

      But as you’ve noted, different systems sort these characters differently, and I’ve also discovered that each operating system has it’s own set of allowed character that can be used in filenames. OS X is by far the most lenient.

      Here’s a link to how things are handled on Windows, for example:

      If one is working cross-platform, then yes using these arcane characters is probably not a good idea.

      I discovered after developing the above-mentioned plain-text system that the characters I chose are not allowed on Windows. That said, my system is flexible enough that it can be modified to work cross-platform.

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