I am a physics teacher who routinely uses Greek letters while typing, and I insert them with the Characters pop-up dialogue box ( ⌃-⌘-[space] ). Unfortunately for me, most of the population uses Characters for emojis. Accordingly, Characters default tab is Emoji.

I want Favorites to be the default tab in Characters. How might I accomplish this?


I ran a couple of experiments on this, to try figure out what the 'rules' are. It appears that if Frequently Used was selected the last time the window was opened, then it will not be selected & instead the item at the top of the list will be instead.

Assuming that list would remain alphabetical I removed all I had checked above Greek, then tried again - success, Greek became the top of the list.

The surprise was that once I added back all my other choices - Greek remained at the top of the list.

So - it doesn't appear that you can force Frequently Used to be selected by default, but you can force Greek to be at the top of the list & therefore be the default if no other below it was previously selected.

enter image description here

  • Thanks to your feedback I noticed that (unlike my OS) your Character's panel had the Greek tab. I started probing and noticed the option setting where I can customize the tabs shown. Thanks – Nick Vence Oct 4 '17 at 22:17

After looking around more, I noticed (and clicked on) the ⌘ symbol in the upper right of the Characters dialogue. enter image description here

This conveniently transforms the Characters format.

enter image description here

This format conveniently has Frequently Used and Favorites at the top and it persists as the default format upon closing.

  • Intersting - I've only been using Macs for 25 years... & I'd never noticed Favourites before... I was assuming Frequently Used. Now we both have a new toy to play with :) – Tetsujin Oct 5 '17 at 6:26

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