Ergonis Software has released a significant update to PopChar X, the long-standing tool for finding and inserting special characters anywhere you can type text. Version 5.0 adds the long-requested feature of being able to collect frequently used characters together in a Favorites group that remains visible at the top of the character table. The update also adds a new customizable hotkey for opening and closing the PopChar window, improves the menu attached to the status item in the menu bar, and enhances the scrolling speed and display of the character window. The update also fixes a handful of bugs, including one that caused the Mac OS X font manager to crash PopChar, one that caused the program to hang while updating font collections, and one that prevented text from being entered into the license key field. The full list of changes is available on Ergonis Software's Web site. (€29.99 new, free update for purchases made in the last 2 years, 2.1 MB)
Avoid Simple Typos
If, like me, you find yourself typing 2911 in place of 2011 entirely too often, you can have Mac OS X (either Lion or Snow Leopard) fix such typos for you automatically. Just open the Language & Text pane of System Preferences, click the Text button at the top, and then add a text substitution by clicking the + button underneath the list. It won't work everywhere (for that you'll want a utility like Smile's TextExpander), but it should work in applications like Pages and TextEdit, and in Save dialog boxes.