ShowSpecialCharacters is an option for cells that determines if \[Name], \:nnnn, and so on should be replaced with explicit special characters.
With the default setting ShowSpecialCharacters True, special characters specified by their alias or Unicode number are replaced by the corresponding font symbol. For example, if you type \[Alpha], it is automatically converted to .
With ShowSpecialCharacters False, special characters are always displayed by name when possible. For example, if you type \[Alpha], it is displayed as entered.
ShowSpecialCharacters is mainly used for documentation and testing purposes. It is also useful for coding, where close control over characters is required.
See also: ShowStringCharacters, CharacterEncoding.