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How can I type the unicode character U+200B (zero-width space character) with my keyboard?

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Which operating system are you using? –  Kurt Pfeifle Jun 25 '10 at 12:25
@pipitas: If it's OS dependent, I'd prefer Windows. –  Mehper C. Palavuzlar Jun 25 '10 at 14:44
Side question: Why do you want a zero-width space? It doesn't help for the broken comment formatting, you'd have to use a hair space, then. –  Joey Jun 26 '10 at 7:50
@Johannes: Because I couldn't find an answer to my question on Meta: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/54990/… and meta.stackexchange.com/questions/54990/…. Could you please explain how I can use a hair space? –  Mehper C. Palavuzlar Jun 26 '10 at 8:23
Ah, ok, different problem then. I thought you were trying something like meta.stackexchange.com/questions/45424 this where ZWS doesn't work (see my test comments below the question). Also you posted the same link twice. –  Joey Jun 26 '10 at 13:56

6 Answers 6

Alt + 0129

This inserts a zero-width character.

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To type this on a laptop with no separate number pad, you'll need to turn numlock on, which will differ depending on your computer's manufacturer. The numbers 0-9 are then MJKLUIO789, respectively. On most laptops, these keys are marked as such. But, even if they aren't, it should still work.

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First convert the hex 200B to decimal 8203

Second, making sure numlock is turned on, press the following keystrokes while holding down the Alt key, then striking the four digits on the numeric keypad, and finally releasing the Alt key.


It will insert the proper character, but you may see garbage depending on the font you are using (does it contain a glyph for that character) as well as the editor you are using may not be unicode aware and treat it as two characters or something else completely.

Note: I tested this with the Arial Unicode MS font, and it worked like a champ.

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Thanks for your answer but how can I do it, for example, inside this very comment box? –  Mehper C. Palavuzlar Jun 25 '10 at 17:24
This inserts U+2642 here. In RichEdit it works (as does using 08203). As to the why for U+2642: 8203 mod 256 is 11 which was, in the OEM charset, the character code of the glyph ♂ (which is now U+2642). This is consistent with what I have previously observed: Using Alt+foo treats the code differently, depending on what is prefixed. If no 0 is at the start of the code, then it is interpreted in the OEM charset, otherwise the system legacy charset. In both cases Unicode is only involved in converting the result to a character. –  Joey Jun 26 '10 at 8:06
Obviously this differs between applications and controls, but not in a meaningful and predictable way so as a general solution this isn't quite right, still. –  Joey Jun 26 '10 at 8:06
By the way, browsers should have no problem picking a font for a particular glyph that isn't present in the font specified. Also Arial does contain a glyph for U+200B. In any case, you shouldn't see null glyphs (boxes or U+FFFD) on a semi-recent system. –  Joey Jun 26 '10 at 8:09
How do you type this character on a device that doesn't have a numeric pad, like some laptops? –  Borek Jan 8 '12 at 9:30

Follow the instructions in Wikipedia. Unfortunately you need to set a registry key first.

After that formality is taken care of, just hold Alt and press + 2 0 0 B, typing the + and numbers on the numpad, and the letters normally.

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Typing the letter B at the end on my Windows XP terminal seems to abort the escape sequence and no character is actually sent to the text box. –  Goyuix Jun 25 '10 at 15:24
@Goyuix: The console windows are an entirely different beast ... most of the time you can't enter characters with Alt+foo there. –  Joey Jun 26 '10 at 7:49

First off: displaying the glyph shape for the character represented by Unicode codepoint "U+02000" will only ever work for you, if...

  • at least 1 font is installed on your system containing the glyph for that codepoint, and
  • the application you want to use this glyph with can use that particular font(s).

I don't know by heart how the glyph at codepoint U+0200 should look like. So let's find out first.

  1. If you're using MS Windows, start the "charmap.exe" utility. (You can start it from a cmd-window or by hitting the "[win]+[r]" combo, and then typing "charmap" => [enter]).
  2. (Caveat: the quoted strings for the UI of charmap.exe are translated from my German UI to English, so they may not accurately match what you'll be seeing.) Now select the font to use from the drop-down list at the top of the dialog. Note, that NOT every available font will have the Unicode codepoint U+0200 available. I suggest you try it with the font named "Microsoft San Serif" (an OpenType font).
  3. Make sure you have the "extended view" checkmark enabled.
  4. Now select "Unicode" from the "character set" drop-down listbox.
  5. Last, type "200" into the text edit field named "Unicode".
  6. You should now see the codepoint "U+0200" selected and displayed in the top left corner of the main window pane.
  7. The statusbar at the bottom will display the official name of the character ("Uppercase Latin A with Double-Gravis" in this case).
  8. Click "Select" to copy that character glyph into the "character selection" text field.
  9. Click "Copy" to copy all characters from the "character selection" text field to your clipboard.
  10. I can successfully copy the glyph in question into my notepad.exe. So trying this with

OK, now that we know what that character should look like, I can try to type it from the keyboard (without the help of "charmap.exe" -- after all, this is what you asked :-) ).

Hmmm.... doesn't work here.

My time is up, need to return later to this question. Sorry.

Edit: I notice that I misread a decisive part of your question. You wanted U+200B. Anyway, the generic part of my incomplete question is still valid. According to http://rishida.net/scripts/uniview/getName.php?list=200%203B%2020%20200B, codepoint U+200B represents character "zero width space" from the General Punctuation group of characters. CUl8er!

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Im not 100% sure but i think it may be Alt+127

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Using the num lock I might add! –  RobertPitt Jun 25 '10 at 11:39
hmm well the inly other one i can think if is the unicode version witch us 200 or 200B so try ALT+200 or ALT+200B –  RobertPitt Jun 25 '10 at 11:41
When I do it, this character appears: –  Mehper C. Palavuzlar Jun 25 '10 at 11:41
Alt + 200 = –  Mehper C. Palavuzlar Jun 25 '10 at 11:52
This answer is incorrect - ASCII 127 is commonly the DEL character, not a zero width space unicode character. –  Goyuix Jun 25 '10 at 15:23

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