Here's a Mac annoyance. Two annoyances, in fact. I solved 1.5 of these annoyances, and this is the topic for this blog.
Annoyance 1. In Windows, there's a Character applet that allows you to view the keystrokes needed to produce special characters like Dingbats or Webdings. In Mac, I have not yet found the equivalent. Mac has Font Book, which is far superior to what Windows has, but it took a bit of exploring to get what I needed.
Annoyance 2. Playing with Font Book brought out the Character Palette display. After attempting to do something on it, the app froze on my screen, blocking the view. A restart failed to cure the problem and worst, Character Palette would appear and disappear whenever I clicked the Spotlight icon (blue circle on the upper right corner). Whenever I tried clicking on the erring app, it disappeared! Then when I clicked Spotlight again, it would show up briefly and then hide again!
Trying to "kill" the process was not useful either, because the app changed its process number every time it appeared. Activity Monitor also could not freeze the slippery app to give me time to Force Quit it. Here's how I solved it, finally.
I did some googling, and found a couple of solutions. What worked for me was to restart in Safe Mode, by pressing the Shift key as the Macbook booted. In restart, I clicked the Spotlight icon to reproduce the problem. The elusive Character Palette showed up, but this time, it stayed! So I clicked Cmd-Q to quit it and it worked.
Twenty steps to help diagnose and fix system problems
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