Q&A: Unwanted Ø

Q I wanted to type “SSO/Manze”, as an abbreviation for the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra conducted by Andrew Manze, in Pages, but it kept combining the virgule / with the O into the Scandinavian letter Ø. How can I stop this?

A In older versions of Pages, you can control this type of text correction in the Preferences dialog. Select the Auto-Correction tool, and you will see a list of items in Symbol and Text Substitution that you can enable as a group, as well as adding and removing items.

This is most unlikely to happen in the current version of Pages, though, which uses the standard text substitutions set in the Text tab of the Keyboard pane. For instance, if you did want /O to result in the Ø character, you could add that as a standard substitution there. As this is not the default, you should now be able to type ‘SSO/Manze’ without any fear that Pages or OS X will change that into Ø.

If you type Scandinavian words, this shorthand way of creating the Ø character could be useful, but most will be happy using the normal keystroke combination of Option, Shift, and O on the rare occasions that they might need it. Sometimes you can reverse such smart substitutions using the Undo menu command, or Command-Z, straight after they have occurred, or by deleting the last character and typing it again, as for spelling corrections.

Updated from the original, which was first published in MacUser volume 25 issue 19, 2008.