Frequently asked Questions

To make things as easy as possible for you, we've collected the most frequently asked questions about the PopChar app here.

Why does PopChar fail to work (e.g. after upgrading to Ventura/Big Sur/..)?

There is a bug in Mojave’s, Catalina's, Big Sur's and Ventura's handling of application permissions, which can prevent some applications (such as PopChar) to work properly. Sometimes it can happen that the permissions get lost, although they are selected in the system preferences.

Follow the steps described in our learn center.

Does PopChar run on Macs with Apple Silicon processors?

Starting with version 9.4, PopChar X is a Universal Application that runs natively on Apple Silicon processors. Older versions of PopChar X basically work on Apple Silicon processors, but they are slower and require Rosetta. If you have a Mac with an Apple Silicon processor, we therefore highly recommend updating to PopChar X 9.4.

Is PopChar compatible with macOS Ventura?

Yes, in general the current version 9.4 of PopChar runs on macOS Ventura.

We are in the process of preparing a maintenance release that irons out some small Ventura compatibility issues and will release a beta of PopChar 9.5 soon. We recommend turning on the "also check for beta versions" in PopChar Preferences -> Updates, such that you will be informed as soon as we have released the beta.

Is PopChar compatible with my macOS Version?

Monterey/Big Sur: PopChar 9.4 or newer Catalina: PopChar 8.10 or newer

For more information, please see our download page.

Is KeyCue compatible with older system versions?

Yes, we take special care not to leave our long-time users behind. The latest version of PopChar X is compatible with Mojave (10.14), High Sierra (10.13), Sierra (10.12), El Capitan (10.11), and Yosemite (10.10).

For more information, please see our download page.

Does PopChar support emoji characters?

Yes. We continuously update PopChar to support the whole emoji set, as defined by the Unicode standard, including emoji characters with skin tones. Starting with version 9.3, PopChar fully supports the Emoji 14.0 character set. It is still possible that you do not see all defined emoji characters if you are using an older version of macOS with an older version of the Apple Color Emoji font.

How do I uninstall PopChar?

To uninstall PopChar, perform these steps:

  1. Open the PopChar window.
  2. Select "Preferences" from the gear-wheel menu in the top-right corner of the window.
  3. In the Activation tab, make sure that “Start PopChar at login” is disabled, then click "OK".
  4. Select "Quit" from the gear-wheel menu.
  5. Delete the PopChar application.

In versions older than PopChar 7.0, the gear-wheel menu is located in the top-left of the window; in even older versions, it has the label “PopChar”.

PopChar's "P" disappeared from the menu bar. What happened?

First try moving the mouse pointer into the top-left and top-right corners of the screen. If the "P" appears, you may have enabled the preferences option to "show 'P' only when pointing into the corner".

When the "P" in the menu bar does not appear, PopChar is probably not running. Locate the PopChar application icon in the Applications folder and double-click it. See the next section about how to make sure that PopChar automatically launches when you start up your computer.

What is the best procedure to install or update PopChar?

PopChar uses a "smart self installation" technique that makes installing and updating a breeze. Just mount the downloaded disk image and double-click the PopChar icon inside. PopChar will quit an older copy that may be running, copy itself to the Applications folder and launch the newly installed copy. There is no magic involved: You could do all this by hand as well; PopChar just simplifies and automates the process and gets you up and running in seconds.

Why do fonts activated with FontExplorer not show up in PopChar?

This has to do with the way how FontExplorer makes activated fonts available to applications. To make sure that PopChar updates its list of available fonts, go to FontExplorer's preferences, enable the option "Enable interception of font requests" and set "All Others" to "Allow Requests".

Why do wrong characters appear when I insert characters from symbol fonts?

Some symbol fonts (for example, Webdings and the Wingdings family) contain many special characters in the “Private Use Area”. This is a section of Unicode that can be used by font designers for font-specific special characters. Different fonts will therefore contain different characters in this section. When you use PopChar to insert special characters from such symbol fonts, you need to make sure that the current font in your text document matches the symbol font. When PopChar appears to insert a different character, check the inserted character’s attributes and apply the correct symbol font to the character.

Why does PopChar not recognize the current font in the active application?

There can be several reasons why PopChar might fail to detect which font is being used in the active application:

If you get a message that "Access for assistive devices" should be enabled, you need to grant PopChar the required permissions. On Mavericks and newer (including Yosemite), open System Preferences / Security & Privacy, and enable PopChar in the “Privacy” section. On older versions of OS X, activate the option "Enable access for assistive devices” in "Universal Access".

If font detection does not work at all in a particular application, this is very likely because the application does not have a font menu in the menu bar. If font detection generally works in an application but fails in some situations, a dialog window may be in the front or the font menu may be temporarily unavailable. In this case, PopChar X will display the font that has recently been used in this application. If you need a different font, temporarily select this font and return to the "As in Document" setting afterwards.

In general: If automatic font detection fails in a particular application, you need to manually select the desired font in the font pop-up menu of PopChar. PopChar will then remember the selected font for this application.

Why does insertion of Unicode characters produce wrong symbols in the application XY?

Unicode must be actively supported by applications. If an application fully supports Unicode, you can insert all Unicode characters with PopChar.

Some legacy applications (such as AppleWorks and older versions of Microsoft Word) support only the older "MacRoman" encoding. This means that you can use only a small subset of the Unicode repertoire.

To see which characters can be used in such applications, select "MacRoman" from the pop-up at the right side of the PopChar window.

Why doesn't PopChar appear after startup?

Make sure that the check box "Start PopChar at Login" in the Preferences window is checked. If that still does not help, try these steps:

  • Make sure that the "System Preferences" application is not running.
  • Launch PopChar if it's not already running.
  • Turn "Start PopChar at Login" off and back on again.

If you are running a PopChar version older than 6.0 on Mountain Lion, the "Start PopChar at Login" checkbox does not work. You need to manually add PopChar as a login item in System Preferences.

Couldn't find the answer you were looking for?

To make things as easy as possible for you, we've collected the most frequently asked questions about the app here. If you can't find an answer to your specific question, please send us a message.

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