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Does anyone know how to get a complete listing of character map equivalents? For example, look in Windows character map under Arial for ¼ . It says you can type ALT+0188 . But some things do not have an Alt equivalent listed. For example ⅔ only gives its unicode of U+ 1254 and no "Alt number". Obviously you can just copy and paste, but is there a way to find an Alt equivalent for that and other characters so one doesn't need to copy and paste each time? Or any other workaround suggestions? Thanks!

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Try this:

Method 1: Universal

This method works regardless of any of your language settings, but is the most cumbersome to type.

  1. Press and hold down the Alt key.
  2. Press the + (plus) key on the numeric keypad.
  3. Type the hexadecimal unicode value.
  4. Release the Alt key.

Alas, this appears to require a registry setting. It was already set on my computer, but some readers report that this method didn't work for them, and this is probably why. If you don't know what the registry is, please don't try this. Under HKEY_Current_User\Control Panel\Input Method, set EnableHexNumpad to "1". If you have to add it, set the type to be REG_SZ.

Method 2: Input-language Specific

This method depends on the specific input language you are using.

  1. Press and hold down the Alt key.
  2. Type 0 (zero) and the decimal unicode value on the numeric keypad.
  3. Release the Alt key.

You can see which input language you are using (and which are installed) by:

  1. Start Menu
  2. Settings
  3. Control Panel
  4. Regional and Language Options
  5. Languages tab
  6. Detail button

The entries in the Unicode character information section are using the Windows Latin 1 input language.

Method 3: Code-page Specific

This method depends on the specific code page you have installed.

  1. Press and hold down the Alt key.
  2. Type the decimal codepage value on the numeric keypad. Do not type any leading zeros.
  3. Release the Alt key.

You can see which code page you have by typing chcp at a command prompt. Check the grid for your code page from the list of known code pages to see what characters you can enter this way.

The entries in the Unicode character information section are using code page 437.

Method 4: Application-specific

Applications can support their own methods. These are not standardized.

Several Microsoft applications, including WordPad and Microsoft Word:
press Alt-X after typing some hex digits. You see the digits as you type them, and they're replaced by the Unicode equivalent. Pressing Alt-X again converts it back to numbers.

Method 5: Unicode IME

Microsoft has a Unicode Input Method Editor that works the same way my UnicodeInput pop-up does, but with L-Alt+Shift as the trigger key.

Michael Kaplan, a Microsoft i18n guru, has the details on how the Unicode IME works. Some notes to fill in some details that he assumes:

  1. Go into Control Panel -> Regional Settings, on the languages tab, enable support for East Asian languages. This takes 230 MB of disk space and a restart.
  2. Go back into Control Panel -> Regional Settings, on the languages tab, press the Details button.
  3. Add Chinese (Taiwan) (Others would probably work too) and choose Chinese (Traditional) - Unicode.
  4. You will now have an extra do-hickey in the taskbar showing which language you're in.
  5. Press L-Alt+Shift to switch into the IME (taskbar shows CH).
  6. Type the hex digits of the Unicode character. As soon as you type the last one, it is sent to the application.
  7. Press L-Alt+Shift to switch out of the IME (taskbar shows your original language code).


Fonts - you must have a font that contains the character. It seems obvious, but Windows can't display characters it doesn't know about. Often, you will need to select the font yourself, since only a few applications are smart enough to switch fonts automatically.
WordPad - works, but you have to have it set to a font that contains the character. Method 4 ([hex][AltX]) seems to switch to an appropriate font automatically.
Notepad - generally doesn't work since its font doesn't support many characters.
Internet Explorer - in the URL bar, the universal method doesn't work if it has A-F, since it opens the menu (i.e. Alt-F opens the File menu).
Mozilla Firebird - works correctly (if you have a font that supports it). Note that if you type it on a page that is using a charset that doesn't support it, it will not be transmitted to the website correctly.

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Even after adding the key in the Registry and rebooting, it didn't work in Notepad and Wordpad on either a Windows 7 desktop or a Windows 7 laptop. Besides, using Method 1 above on a keypad-deprived laptop is just plain hell. Too bad. – OverTheRainbow Feb 26 '15 at 7:54

The ALT shortcuts are linked to the Windows-1252 codepage. You can find the full listing on Wikipedia:

You should be able to use Unicode by converting the hex number to decimal and typing it like a normal alt shortcut: U+1254 becomes ALT+4692. I only got a 'T' though, so I don't know if it works.

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This didn't work for me on a Western Windows7: The Righwards Arrow is U+2192; 2192H is 8594D, but neither ALT+8594 nor ALT+08594 displayed the expected rightwards arrow. – OverTheRainbow Feb 26 '15 at 7:37

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