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Is it possible without using tools like word and alike?

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up vote 7 down vote accepted

Yes, in Windows you can type alt and a four number code for special symbols. You can find a table with all the different codes here. There are separate commands for Mac.

It doesn't seem there's a shortcut for ↑ in particular, though.

The codes for Windows must be typed on the numpad or, if you're using a laptop, by hitting numlock.

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Note that the digits you type must be on the numerical keypad. – Torben Gundtofte-Bruun Aug 26 '10 at 6:40
@torbengb: thanks, I've added this to the answer – Rafe Kettler Aug 26 '10 at 12:09

You can make use of character map. ↑ alt text

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Use Wordpad.exe. Type 2191, then immediately press Alt and x at the same time. (requires the number to be the Unicode code in hexadecimal) Does not work in Notepad or the Run box.


Use Wordpad.exe. Hold down Alt, and on the number keypad type 8593, and then let go of the Alt key. (requires the number to be the Unicode code decimal) Does not work in Notepad or the Run box.


Activate Microsoft Input Method Editor (MS-IME) for Japanese, type yajirushi, hit the space bar, and then select the appropriate character from the pop-up menu.

Tested on Windows XP Japanese. (^_^;)

You will want to read How to enter Unicode characters in Microsoft Windows and the section under Numeric Keypad for a really detailed explanation spanning decades of Windows.

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You can use the Microsoft Keyboard Layout Creator to create your personal keyboard layout. It’s not that difficult, because you can build upon an existing layout and use a nice graphical tool to select keys and modifiers. There are lots of free places with AltGr or AltGr+Shift in latin layouts.

Advantages: Works across all applications; you don’t have to remember code numbers; your fingers will adapt to the additional key combinations quickly; you get to annoy others with ›extra pedantic typography‹ and ★ funny ♥ symbols in emails. Disadvantages: A bit of work initially; only works on your computer; you need Administrator’s privileges to install the layout.

An alternative would be to use a tool like AllChars, which adds additional mnemonic key sequences like Ctrl, O, A to type å.

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You may enter special signs from several fonts (symbols and windings, webdings) but IMHO it isn't the best way, because if you're giving this richt text further, person without your font will see only letter (for example if I remember good N is smile in windings or webdings)

My recommendation is unicode.Almost all supports unicode today. or google "unicode table"

good luck and enjoy this cute unicode sign (officially it's a electro-symbol of a bell): ⍾

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