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Insert Windows symbols from the keyboard rather than from the Symbols chart

Posted on 2013-11-18
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Last Modified: 2013-12-10
Hello,

What is the method used to insert Windows (7) symbols from the keyboard rather than from the Symbol chart?

The following two screenshots show an up arrow selected in the Symbols chart which has been set to Font = Symbol:

Fig. 1Fig. 2In these figures, the up arrow is shown to correspond with:

      Unicode name = Symbol: 173
      Character code = 173 from Symbol (decimal)
      Character code = 00AD from Symbol (hex)

I understand that hex numbering is a base 16 system utilizing

        0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 A B C D E F

and I have seen charts listing character & symbol codes for both Unicode and Hex, but the purpose of this post is to ask if someone can explain how to enter symbols directly from the keyboard into any application.

Thanks
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Question by:Steve_Brady
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Author Comment

by:Steve_Brady
ID: 39658301
By the way, some time ago I found a useful utility called:

        The UnicodeInput Utility

It works great but as mentioned, my goal in this thread is to learn if symbols and characters not found on a standard keyboard can be inserted without needing to use the Symbol chart or a utility.
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Accepted Solution

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mccarl earned 1200 total points
ID: 39658331
You should be able to hold down "Alt" key and type 0 1 7 3 on the numeric keypad.

Note that what ever you are entering this into, ie. Word, etc, still needs to have the font set as Symbol, otherwise you will get whatever code 173 is in whatever font is selected.
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Assisted Solution

by:Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVE
Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVE earned 800 total points
ID: 39658377
Hi Steve,
If you hold down the Alt key and enter 24 on the numeric keypad, you will get the up arrow. Note that it will not work if you enter 24 on the top row of keys...it must be on the numeric keypad. Likewise, Alt-25 will give you the down arrow, 26 the right arrow, 27 the left arrow, and 29 a two-headed (horizontal) arrow. Here they are:

¿  ¿  ¿  ¿  ¿

Regards, Joe
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Expert Comment

by:Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVE
ID: 39658382
Oops...I guess EE doesn't like 'em. Here they are in Word:
arrows via alt keysAnd it doesn't matter what font is selected at the time. When I entered the above into Word, the active font was Calibri. However, this technique is specific for those arrow symbols. If you want to be able to select anything in the Symbol chart, then mccarl is correct...you need to have Symbol selected as the font and use the relevant codes (again, with the numeric keypad, not the top row of numbers). Regards, Joe
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Expert Comment

by:mccarl
ID: 39658432
And it doesn't matter what font is selected at the time
Actually, it still does... but in a different way. At least in my environment, having Symbol selected as the font actually gives little boxes for the Alt+24,25,26,27, and on a different font (Bookman I think it was) I get chinese characters!
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Expert Comment

by:Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVE
ID: 39658456
Interesting! Works fine here in Arial, Bookman, Calibri, Courier New, Times New Roman, Trebuchet, and numerous others...everything I tried, except funky fonts, like Symbol and Wingdings.
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Author Closing Comment

by:Steve_Brady
ID: 39710190
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