Another workaround I've done in that situation is to add a small character (such as a period) above, below, or to the side of the character I want, separated by a considerable amount of whitespace. I'll try to get the periods off my canvas or to an area where I can cover them with a solid color rectangle. It's a silly solution, but I can usually get it to work.
Or! If you don't have areas of solid color, you could still add the periods and white space, then apply a vector mask to the object so that only the desired character shows. (Wish I'd thought of this idea before today. Would have saved me a bunch of stupid rectangles! )