Snap, Crackle, and PopChar X -- The many enthusiastic fans of Günther Blaschek's venerable PopChar utility were rewarded for their patience this week when he released a Mac OS X version. PopChar X is a background-only application that puts a small "P" in the top left corner of the menu bar; clicking on this "P" causes a window to pop down showing the characters of any font, their ASCII numeric values, and the keystroke(s) needed to type them. Clicking a character inserts it in the current application.
Unfortunately, only ASCII characters are displayed - basically the first 230-odd characters of a font - whereas many Mac OS X fonts have hundreds or even thousands more characters (see "Two Bytes of the Cherry: Unicode and Mac OS X, Part 2" in TidBITS-625). Also, the location of the "P" can't be changed and may conflict with other utilities that use the corner of the menubar, such as MaxMenus. Blaschek says users can expect these shortcomings to be corrected in a future version. PopChar X is $30, and includes a license for the new version of PopChar Pro for Mac OS 7.1 and later, plus free upgrades for two years. [MAN]