To add some character to your web designs, you can access special font characters with Mac OS X Lion by going to Edit/Special Characters. From there, open your document and select the text tool. Click where you want the Special Character to appear (a blinking cursor will mark the spot). Double-click the special character in the Character Panel. It should pop into your document.
Font Variation Panel
If it doesn’t, change the font of the inserted character. Highlight the character in your document. Click the character in the Font Variation Panel to see the font name. Manually change the font in your document. If you do not have the font indicated on the Font Variation panel, choose a version of the character with a font that you have loaded on your Mac.
Drag & Drop
To insert the special character into your document, you can also simply Drag and Drop the character from the Character Panel directly into your document. Wow – Mac Magic!
Launching Character Viewer
If the Character Viewer does not open up, Go to: Launchpad/System Preferences/Language & Text/Click Input Source Tab/Turn on the Keyboard & Character Viewer checkbox.
You’ve just installed an Apple Menulet (located at the top of your screen in the Apple Toolbar). Choose Show Character Viewer from this menulet.
Choose Keyboard Viewer from the Applet menulet and a keyboard appears on your screen. When you hold down Command, Option, Shift or Control, you can see exactly which keys produce which characters.
For example, when you press the Option key, the Keyboard Viewer shows that the Pi character (π) is mapped to the P key. To insert it into an open document, just click it in the Keyboard Viewer window.
MS Character Map
Just for comparison sake, this is what the Microsoft Character Map looks like.
This tip was adapted from : Mac OS X Lion – the missing manual.