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Unicode Character Entry Using ALT Codes

Posted on 2004-04-28
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Last Modified: 2013-12-03
I have been trying to figure out why I cannot enter UNICODE characters correctly using the ALT Code.

The OS I am on is Windows XP Pro

I go the Character Map (Start>Programs>Accessories>System Tools>Character Map) and find the character I am trying to enter.

(&#8805;)  <-- That character should be the greater than Equal sign.

Now in the character map the unicode is 2265. In the lower left it shows U+2265

If I go to any app and try ALT-2265 I do not get the greater than equal sign I get ( &#9496;) <-- Should look like the lower right corner of a box.

What am I failing to understand?

Sean

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Question by:Keyman
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Expert Comment

by:bradleyland
ID: 10939156
A couple of notes. The Unicode offset is not the same as the Alt-code for special characters. The other issue is that if you want Unicode text to display in users' browsers, you must specify UTF-8 as your character set:

<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8">

Once you have done this, you can use the Character Map application to copy the symbol you want to the clipboard and past it into your document. You should know, however, that if the person viewing your webpage does not have Unicode support on their computer, or if they have a different font than you, they may not see the page correctly. There is no HTML special character for the greater than or equal to sign that I know of.
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Author Comment

by:Keyman
ID: 10939314
Ugh! I hate the blue fog!

I am at work and I cannot access the oldlook on port 8080 (blocked by firewall)

I somehow posted this in webdev.

This is not a web dev related problem. I am just trying to help some of my users when working in windows applications.


Sorry about that.

Sean

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Expert Comment

by:bradleyland
ID: 10941176
Ah, well, that makes things much simpler. The Character Map application will show you the alt-code separately from the Unicode offset (if one exists). They are not the same. If you need that special character, you have to use the Character Map application or another program that maps commonly used special chars to different keystrokes.
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Author Comment

by:Keyman
ID: 10942532
So there is no way to get a greater than equal to sign using an ALT XXXX ? (I realize the number shown in Character Map may not be used in an ALT XXXX sequence)

The only way is to go to character map? Or other third party app?


Sean
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Accepted Solution

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bradleyland earned 50 total points
ID: 10943794
That's correct. Something like this app will probably help you out:

http://allchars.zwolnet.com/introduction.html

The Alt+XXXX is a relic of the ASCII text character sets. You'll notice that any key combination greater than Alt+0255 produces no output. This is because ASCII was limited to 255 characters.
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Author Comment

by:Keyman
ID: 10956345
Well actually I get output with numbers greater than 0255


Sean
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Author Comment

by:Keyman
ID: 10959856
Oh well, I hate having open questions so I will just give you the points.

Sean

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Expert Comment

by:bradleyland
ID: 10959861
That is indeed strange. Which combination greater than 0255 do you get output?

Did you try the AllChars app?
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Author Comment

by:Keyman
ID: 10994566

For example ATL-1234 give a grid edge type charater (¨i)

It looks like this
     ___
      | |
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Expert Comment

by:bradleyland
ID: 10998701
Those characters are part of extended ASCII. They used to be used back when applications were written to use ASCII characters to form graphical elements. Pre-windows.

http://www.cdrummond.qc.ca/cegep/informat/Professeurs/Alain/files/ascii.htm

... I should have my points stripped for this. I didn't realize that the signs you're looking for were on the extended ASCII chart. This means that they should be accesible through an alt code.

alt+1265 ± (plus equal to)
alt+1266 &#8805; (greater than or equal to)
alt+1267 &#8804; (less than or equal to)

There you have it. This will only work with fonts that A) have these characters, and B) are properly mapped. Some postscript fonts don't work with this method either. Most of the common fonts work just fine.
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