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What's the best ways to enter special Unicode characters into a Notepad++ document? Do I have to rely on the operating system (Windows)?

Looking for a see-and-click solution.

I can bring up the ASCII Insertion Panel with Edit | Character Panel — that works great — but it only has the 256 raw characters. In UTF-8 mode I'd like to have a similar feature for the full encoded set, e.g. the Greek alphabet, math symbols, etc. I don't want to have to use the numeric keypad. Similar question on sourceforge but no answer there either.

share|improve this question
    
How about Windows’ Character Map program? – Scott Apr 1 '13 at 17:42
    
Very helpful, @Scott, I'd forgotten all about charmap.exe! – BobStein-VisiBone Apr 1 '13 at 19:03
    
You have some misunderstanding here. Unicode is a 21-bit character set so it can go up to 2'097'151, i.e. the full set is not only 65536 characters. UTF-8 is a variable length encoding for Unicode, using 8-bit code units. It can even represent code points outside the Unicode space, up to 2<sup>31</sup>-1. So there's nothing related to 65536 in either Unicode or UTF-8. Read Joel on Software's The Absolute Minimum Every Software Developer Absolutely, Positively Must Know About Unicode and Character Sets (No Excuses!) – Lưu Vĩnh Phúc Oct 8 '15 at 16:11
    
Agreed @LưuVĩnhPhúc. So edited. – BobStein-VisiBone Oct 8 '15 at 18:37
up vote 8 down vote accepted

Set up a User Defined Command:

  1. Select Run then Run...
  2. Enter charmap
  3. Click Save...
  4. Enter a name to identify it, e.g. &charmap (the ampersand lets you specify C as the accelerator key, so Alt+R then C activate it, unless you have another command with the same accelerator key).
  5. Optionally specify a keyboard shortcut to trigger it, e.g. ALT and Num +
  6. Click OK

Now whenever you want to enter a character, either use the Run menu or shortcut/accelerator key to open Windows Character Map, and either pick one or more characters or search for it/them using its Unicode name in "Search for:", copy to the clipboard, close Character Map and paste in Notepad++.

Note that you have to be in a unicode format for the characters to display in Notepad++. This is done by going to the Format menu and selecting "Encode in UTF-8" or similar. Now you can paste in Greek letters, subscripts, etc. into Notepad++.

share|improve this answer
1  
Made a desktop icon for it, in Windows 7 pointing to C:\Windows\System32\charmap.exe – BobStein-VisiBone Nov 29 '13 at 20:14

And now for something completely different, a cut and paste gallery:


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🎳🏂🌁🌉🌋🌌🌏🌑🌓🌔🌕🌛🌠🌰🍏🌱🌼🌽🌿🍄🍇🍈🍌🍍🍑🍒🍩🍕🍖🍗🍠🍤🍥🍨🍪🍫🍬🍭🍮🍯🍷🍹🎊🎋🎠🎣🎭🎮🎲🎴🎹🎻🎼🎽🏡🏮🐌🐜🐝🐞🐡🐢🐣🐥🐩🐼🐽🐾👅👓👖👚👛👝👤👪👰👹👺💌💕💖💞💠💥💧💫💬💮💯💲💳💴💵💸💾📁📂📃📄📅📆📇📈📉📊📋📌📍📎📏📐📑📒📓📔📕📙📚📛📜📞📟📤📥📦📧📨📪📰📹🔃🔋🔌🔎🔏🔐🔖🔗🔘🔙🔚🔛🔜🔟🔠🔡🔢🔣🔤🔦🔧🔩🔪🔮🔵🔶🔷🔸🔹🔼🔽😄😊😃😉😍😘😚😳😌😁😜😝😒😏😓😔😞😱😠😡😪😷👿👽💛💙💜💗💚💔💓💘🌟💢💤💨💦🎶🎵🔥💩👍👎👌👊👋👐👆👇👉👈🙌🙏👏💪🚶🏃👫💃👯🙆🙅💁🙇💏💑💆💇💅👦👧👩👨👶👵👴👱👲👳👷👮👼👸💂💀👣💋👄👂👀👃⛄🌙🌀🌊🐱🐶🐭🐹🐰🐺🐸🐯🐨🐻🐷🐮🐗🐵🐒🐴🐎🐫🐑🐘🐍🐦🐤🐔🐧🐛🐙🐠🐟🐳🐬💐🌸🌹🌻🌺🍁🍃🍂🌴🌵🌾🐚🎍💝🎎🎒🎓🎏🎆🎇🎐🎑🎃👻🎅🎄🎁🔔🎉🎈💿📀📷🎥💻📺📱📠💽📼🔊📢📣📻📡🔍🔓🔒🔑🔨💡📲📩📫📮🛀🚽💺💰🔱🚬💣🔫💊💉🏈🏀⚽⚾🎾⛳🎱🏊🏄🎿🏆👾🎷🎸👟👡👠👢👕👔👜💄💍💎🍵🍺🍻🍸🍶🍴🍔🍟🍝🍛🍱🍣🍙🍘🍚🍜🍲🍞🍳🍢🍡🍦🍧🎂🍰🍎🍊🍉🍓🍆🍅🏠🏫🏢🏣🏥🏦🏪🏩🏨💒⛪🏬🌇🌆🏯🏰⛺🏭🗼🗻🌄🌅🌃🗽🌈🎡⛲🎢🚢🚤⛵🚀🚲🚙🚗🚕🚌🚓🚒🚑🚚🚃🚉🚄🚅🎫⛽🚥🚧🔰🏧🎰🚏💈🏁🎌🎯🀄🎬📝📖🎨🎤🎧🎺👗👘👙🎀🎩👑👒🌂💼

Thanks to Maxitweet, Johannes Knabe, and copypastecharacter.

Tip: Ctrl +=zoom in. Ctrl 0=restore. (Mac ⌘ + and ⌘ 0.)

share|improve this answer
    
life saver ! thanks . – CyprUS Dec 9 '15 at 18:17
    
You're welcome, there's nothing like a visual. (Huh, another "Python" reference.) – BobStein-VisiBone Dec 11 '15 at 2:58

If you can write using the numeric keypad, that means you already have the code point for the character. Simply enter the hex value of the character(s) you want into notepad++, select them then open menu Plugins > Converter > HEX -> ASCII

Notepad convert menu

Demonstration:

Notepad++ converter

http://code2care.org/pages/ascii-to-hex-and-hex-to-ascii-conversion-notepadplusplus/

You can also get live results from the conversion panel

conversion panel

Another way is using the HexEditor plugin, which was included in prior versions of Notepad++ but was removed recently. You can still install the plugin (or reactivate it if it was disabled) from the plugin manager with the caveat that sometimes it may be unstable

This way you just select Plugins > Hex-Editor > View in HEX (or click the H button near the right of the menu bar) then type the UTF-8 bytes into the hex edit window. For example to get the string 🔙🔚🔛🔜 (I copied from above) which is f0 9f 94 99 f0 9f 94 9a f0 9f 94 9b f0 9f 94 9c in UTF-8, just type those hex values in to dump column and switch back to normal text mode, you'll see those characters appear.

Notepad hex editor plugin

share|improve this answer
1  
I would split this triple answer into 3 sections (or even 3 answers). I don't think the second one (Conversion Panel) helps beyond the basic 256 however. – BobStein-VisiBone Oct 8 '15 at 18:57
    
I didn't try that but the other 2 work fine for UTF-8 – Lưu Vĩnh Phúc Oct 8 '15 at 19:01
1  
Responding to the first and third sections, although the question specifically asks for a see-and-click solution, which is far more convenient than having to know the code point, these are very interesting alternatives to inserting a Unicode character. The first seems more accessible, and would be improved with step-by-step instructions. E.g. to insert an em—dash, (1) Find the UTF-8 encoding somehow (link?) (2) Type E28094 (3) Plugins | Converter | HEX -> ASCII. Voila. Non-sequitur: this is a great way to go the other way, to determine the UTF-8 coding for a character I can cut and paste. – BobStein-VisiBone Oct 8 '15 at 19:03
    
@BobStein-VisiBone you don't need to determine the UTF-8 encoding. Just convert the file to UTF-16 and enter the code point directly (if it fits in one UTF-16 unit), then convert back to UTF-8 if needed, otherwise you can simply use UTF-16 consistently. UTF-32 would work for all code points, but I don't know how to use UTF-32 in Notepad++ – Lưu Vĩnh Phúc Oct 9 '15 at 4:02

Alternatively, if you know the Unicode code point, see tip 2 of Three ways to enter Unicode characters in Windows.

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