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I am familiar with inserting an ASCII character into a text document by using 'Alt+ASCII code' on the NumPad keys (e.g. Alt+130 inserts an é character).

Is there a similar way to insert a Unicode character via the keyboard using the unicode value given in Windows Character Map?

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See also "How do you type Unicode characters using hexadecimal codes?" at superuser.com/questions/13086/… –  Arjan Sep 27 '09 at 11:39

6 Answers 6

up vote 42 down vote accepted

According John D. Cook there are 3 ways:

  1. In Microsoft Word you can insert Unicode characters by typing the hex value of the character then typing Alt-x. You can also see the Unicode value of a character by placing the cursor immediately after the character and pressing Alt-x. This also works in applications that use the Windows rich edit control such as WordPad and Outlook.
  2. Another approach which works with more applications is as follows. First create a registry key under HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Input Method\EnableHexNumpad of type REG_SZ called EnableHexNumpad, set its value to 1, and reboot. Then you can enter Unicode symbols by holding down the Alt key and typing the plus sign on the numeric keypad followed by the character value. When you release the Alt key, the symbol will appear. This approach worked with most applications I tried, including Firefox and Safari, but did not with Internet Explorer.
  3. Another option is to install the UnicodeInput utility. This worked with every application I tried, including Internet Explorer. Once installed, the window below pops up whenever you hold down the Alt key and type the plus sign on the numeric keypad. Type the numeric value of the character in the box, click the Send button, and the character will be inserted into the window that had focus when you clicked Alt-plus.

I would go for the second option because it integrates nicely with your current usage.

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Option 2 works great, thanks. BTW, the location of the new string key was HKCU/Control Panel/Input Method/EnableHexNumpad –  pelms Sep 27 '09 at 9:08

If you're using Chrome or Safari, you can open up the console with Ctrl+Shift+I (or Cmd+Alt+I on Mac) and type copy('\uNNNN'); – where the NNNN is the Unicode code after the +:

Right-to-Left Override U+202E copy('\u202e')

You can do that with Firefox, too, but you'll need Firebug.

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It doesn't seem to be working. Is my Google Chrome too new? I am using version 25. Typing copy('\u202e') and pressing Enter at Console prompt returns undefined. Could it be that they have changed it? –  sammyg Mar 16 '13 at 23:32
@Sammy It works, the character gets copied to the clipboard, you can paste it afterwards. –  leonbloy May 15 '13 at 20:42
On newer versions of Chrome, you can also press F12 instead of Ctrl+Shift+I –  radomaj Mar 12 '14 at 9:36
Although you'll probably want to copy the character anyway, copy() is technically not necessary: 'There\'s no \u260E on the \u263E, but there may be a \u26C4.' "There's no ☎ on the ☾, but there may be a ⛄." –  basic6 May 1 '14 at 13:12

I will shamelessly plug a little tool I wrote for entering symbols in Windows as I find any solution usually presented too cumbersome for daily frequent use. My personal use case is typing the Swedish å for example on an international US keyboard without having to switch layouts.

It allows the entering of unicode characters through a popup window not dissimilar to how this works in Apple OS X.

See https://github.com/mjvh80/SymWin for details, it's free and open source, but must (currently) be built, if there is sufficient interest I could add a pre-built version.

The tool can be configured per key, e.g. by copy/pasting symbols once from a site such as http://copypastecharacter.com. It comes preconfigured with various symbols.

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If you're using Firefox, you can also install the Unicode Input Tool/Converter add-on.

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The easiest way: The Microsoft Keyboard Layout Creator. This is an official Microsoft solution. Functionality is similar like Ukelele for OS X.

Download and instructions: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-GB/goglobal/bb964665.aspx

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On Windows hit WIN + R (run), type charmap and do search in UNICODE field. it actually do solve my problem, whereas ALT + code didn't help (link).

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