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Home / Tips and Tricks / Obtain special characters with Alt key codes or the library with Word symbols

Obtain special characters with Alt key codes or the library with Word symbols



Like all text-based programs, Microsoft Word uses a numeric character code called ASCII (American Standard Code for Information Interchange) for every alphabetical, numeric and special character on your keyboard. This code is the reason why we can use open text files in almost any software program, and the reason why some program & # 39; s passwords are case sensitive (for example, the capital & # 39; A & # 39; is ASCII number 65 and the lowercase & # 39; a & # 39; is ASCII code 97). You can insert one or more of these codes / characters (separately) with one simple combination key: the Alt key + the decimal code on the numeric keypad (note that the numbers at the top of your keyboard do not work) ̵

1; or you can use the symbol library .

Inserting Symbols from the Symbol Library

The Symbol Library is the most common and trusted method for inserting non-keyboard characters into a document. The process is simple:

1. Select the Insert tab

2. Click the button Symbols

3. Choose a symbol in the small dialog box of 20 samples or

4. Select More symbols and choose one from the symbol library (from the font & # 39; normal text & # 39;).

Word remembers the last 20 symbols that you have inserted and places them in the dialog (a kind like a symbol shortcut). This is a great feature for occasional use. But what if you use the copyright and trademark symbols 25 to 30 times in one document? Or what if you use em dashes in every other paragraph, or many fractions or accent marks in every five to six words (there are only more than three dozen accent marks)?

  01 inserting symbols from the symbol library JD Sartain / IDG

01 inserting symbols from the symbol library

Note that Word is the number of the character code from the ASCII decimal table plus the name of the symbol and the Alt + key combination (or shortcut key) at the bottom of the Symbols dialog box.

For volume input, try the ASCII codes instead.

It is certainly a lot faster to type Alt + 0169 (the copyright symbol) than to search for it and insert it from the Symbol Library, especially if you have to insert it 40 times a day.

But there are other reasons to use the ASCII codes, such as availability and broken keys. Some characters may not be available in your Symbol Library because your fonts do not support them. And what happens if one of the keys on your keyboard is damaged – for example, it appears that the space bar (32) is always the first key to malfunction (Alt + 032).

  02 most common ASCII characters1

The Internet offers dozens of websites that map the ASCII and symbol tables. Two that I have visited are ascii-code.com and another is Special characters – Alt Code Sequences . Remember to hold down the Alt key and enter a 0 (zero) for each code; for example: if the graph represents 169 as a copyright symbol, you must enter 0169 (ie from 0 to 255). Somewhere around the decimal code 256, the preceding zero is no longer needed. You can test this yourself by entering both versions of these numbers. For example Alt + 0251 = û (the Latin lowercase u with the circumflex symbol above) while Alt + 251 = √ (the square root sign) – and so on until you reach 256, which is the same as 0256 (both produce the pronunciation symbol for an & # 39; long & # 39; A in uppercase letters, ie.).

  03 most common ASCII characters2

In addition to the keyboard characters, you will find decimal codes for Greek and Latin letters, accent letters, alphabet pronunciation symbols, and mathematical symbols such as division and square root operators, accent grave and circumflex symbols, plus global currency symbols, and more. But the coolest of them all are the graphic and icon symbols.

Alt Key Symbols

There are hundreds of Alt symbols. In fact, Alt + 1 to Alt + 31 (without the preceding zeros) are icon symbols (such as happy faces, map colors, astrology icons, etc.) and 176 to 223 are graphic lines and polygons. That is why so many users become discouraged when searching for the British pound symbol £ (Alt + 0163) and end with the Latin letter acute accent ú (Alt + 163) in lower case – which can also be found is on Alt + 0250. [19659009] 04 alt symbol codes "width =" 580 "height =" 532 "data-original =" https://images.techhive.com/images/article/2016/03/04-alt -symbol-codes-100651348-large.png "class =" lazy "loading =" lazy "/>

The Alt + codes consist of five digits, so if you cannot find the desired symbol, play with the numbers and see what you get Start with 1,000 and try some random numbers up to 10,078. Note that many of the 9,000 level symbols are repeats of the original set (1 through 255).

It is always nice to add a happy face (Alt + 1) ☺ or (Alt + 9786) ☺ or a snowman (Alt + 9731) ☃.

  05 alt decoration symbols1

See the tables ( above and below) for a few dozen interesting and useful symbols to decorate your documents and e-mails. These symbols also work in Microsoft Outlook, Excel and PowerPoint. In Excel, the Alt + symbols after 255 are not consistent, but the ASCII codes work fine.

NOTE: If the ASCII decimal code does not display the expected symbol, try entering the Unicode / ASCII Hex code instead, followed by Alt + X; for example 006A plus Alt + X.

  06 alt decoration symbols2 new upload JD Sartain / IDG

ASCII Decimal, ASCII Hex or Unicodes?

Note that all Alt codes in the above graphs are represented by numbers; for example, the White Queen is Alt + 9813. Note that some of the new symbols also have letters in the codes, such as the Hex ASCII code (aka Unicode) 006A, which is supposed to represent a decorative heart of a downloaded symbol font with the name "KR All About the Heart."

The ASCII decimal code for this same symbol is Alt + 106, but that code and both the Unicode and ASCII Hex codes (006A plus Alt + X represent the Latin lowercase letter "j". This means some symbols (especially the downloaded ones) may only be available via the commands Insert > Symbol in the ribbon menu & # 39; s.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Do not enter the plus signs, only the Alt key and the next number OR the characters followed by the simultaneous Alt and X keys.

Special characters on keyboards of laptops or tablets

Some laptops and tablets do not have numeric keyboards. In this case, the numeric keypad is usually on s, always from the inside of keyboard keys, parts with other characters, and some systems also offer an Fn button (function key), which must also be pressed to use the Alt + key codes. keys 7, 8, 9 , u, i, j, k, l and m.

You can also press Fn + the F11 key to open a calculator type keyboard. If that doesn't work, try enabling both the Number Lock and the Scroll Lock keys and then press Alt + the key code. And finally, if all else fails, hold down the Fn button, then hold down the Alt key, enter the number, and release all three keys simultaneously.

At this point it would be easier to use the & # 39; s menus. In other words, if your laptop or tablet lacks the numeric keypad, it is faster (and probably more efficient) to simply select insert> Symbol > More symbols and choose one and then click Insert .

Finding and Installing New Symbols

The only symbols now available on your computer are the symbols that are pre-installed with Microsoft Windows fonts, and they do not contain many "artistic" symbols . For example, Windows 10 includes the Bookshelf Symbol 7 and Symbol fonts (minimal collections) plus Web Dings, Wing Dings (1, 2, 3) and Zaph Dingbats, which all have some amazing symbols.

Some software programs, such as the Adobe Creative Suite and the Corel Draw suite, include a number of new fonts with the & # 39; s programs, which are usually pre-installed if you choose the "standard" installation. If you do not have any of these & # 39; s programs, you can find hundreds of & # 39; symbol & # 39; fonts on the web.

1001 Fonts advertises that it has 587 Dingbat fonts in the library, including categories such as Holidays, Flowers, Animals, Retro, Religious, Romantic and dozens of others. Downloading these fonts is a piece of cake: browse the collection, choose a symbol font and click the Download button.

A dialog box appears asking where / what to do with this zip file? Select Save file and click OK . The folder / folder dialog appears. Scroll to Downloads and click on Save. It is a good idea to always save your downloaded files first in the folder Downloads and then copy / paste, move or extract them in the respective folders.

Extract the file or return it to the Downloads folder, or you can directly extract it to the Windows Font folder. Please note that it is safer to unpack in the Downloads folder and then copy the font file and paste it in the Windows Font folder.

Test your new symbol font. Open a Word file, select Insert> Symbol scroll down to the new font, choose one of the symbols and click on Insert . Note the character code at the bottom right of the screen. You can now insert this symbol with the ALT + character code. If this is not the case, refer to the "ASCII Decimal, ASCII Hex or Unicodes" section above.

Tips: If you need many mathematical symbols (such as fractions, square roots, etc.) in your document, choose the MS Special Reference symbol fonts. Download the symbols " Computer " or " Office " Dingbat symbols of 1001 fonts for business or office symbols. For additional "unique" symbol fonts such as the signature alphabet and / or musical notes, choose " Symbol " from the Dingbat symbols with 1001 fonts.

Can icon symbols be converted to vector images?

Yes! And this wonderful feature gives "illustrations" a whole new meaning, especially since many clipart suppliers charge for their products. If you have Corel Draw, Illustrator, InDesign or Photoshop, you can convert any symbol icon into a vector image, which means that you have an image that can be changed and adjusted without compression noise (also called fuzzy pixels).

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