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Article ID: 315684 - Last Review: June 19, 2014 - Revision: 2.0

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Summary

This article describes how to use special characters that are available through the Character Map, and how to manually type the Unicode number to insert a special character into a document. You can do this to add special characters to your documents such as a trademark or degree symbol:

More information

You can use Character Map to view the characters that are available for a selected font. Character Map displays the following character sets:
  • Windows
  • DOS
  • Unicode
You can copy individual characters or a group of characters to the clipboard, and then paste them into any compatible program. Or, depending on the program you are using (such as WordPad), you can even copy characters by dragging them from Character Map directly into an open document.

You can use Character Map to search for characters by viewing the Unicode character maps that are associated with each font. Select the character in the font you select to display the Unicode identifier. If you know the Unicode equivalent of the character that you want to insert, you can also insert a special character directly into a document without using Character Map.

To start Character Map and see all of the available characters for a particular font, click Start, point to Programs, point to Accessories, point to System Tools, and then click Character Map.

If Character Map is not installed, you must install Character Map:
  1. Click Start, point to Settings, click Control Panel, and then click Add/Remove Programs.
  2. Click the Windows Setup tab.
  3. Click System Tools (click the words, not the check box), and then click Details.
  4. Click to select the Character Map check box, click OK, and then click OK.
You can use one of the following methods to insert special characters from Character Map into a document in a compatible program.

Method 1

To copy individual characters or a group of characters to the clipboard and then paste them into a program:
  1. Start Character Map.
  2. In the Font box, click the font you want to use.
  3. Click the special character that you want to insert, click Select, and then click Copy.
  4. In your document, position the insertion point where you want the special character to appear.
  5. On the Edit menu, click Paste. You can also copy characters by dragging them from Character Map directly into an open document.

Method 2

To insert a special character by using the Unicode value:
  1. In your document, position the insertion point where you want the special character to appear.
  2. Press and hold down the ALT key while you type the four number Unicode value for the character. Note that NUM LOCK must be on, and you have to use the number pad keys to type the Unicode character value.
To determine what the Unicode value is for a particular character:
  1. Start Character Map.
  2. In the Font box, click the font you want to use.
  3. Click the special character that you want to use. The Unicode number that corresponds to the character you select appears in the lower right corner of the window.

Unicode

Unicode is a character standard that represents almost all of the written languages of the world. The Unicode characters have multiple representation forms, including UTF-8, UTF-16, and UTF-32. Most Windows interfaces use the UTF-16 form. For more information about Unicode, please view the following Unicode Web site:
http://www.unicode.org (http://www.unicode.org)
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