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Is there a program or a key map that allows me to easily type mathematcial symbols and unicode letters such as these symbols in a web form?

Maybe a keyboard mapping? An assitant program?

(What I'm doing now is, copy-pasting relevant symbols, which is far from convenient...)

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3 Answers

Some options:

  • If the stuff you put into the web form will be displayed as html, and if the form processing doesn't do any conversion/sanitizing, then you can type the html entities into your input text, e.g. Θ or ∝. It will look ugly in the form input, but displayed as html, it should look like Θ and ∝.

  • You can install a Greek keyboard layout and set an accelerator key combo for switching between keyboards, e.g. Shift+Alt. This will only help for the Greek letters, obviously.

  • You can learn the Alt+Num shortcuts for the symbols you want. The problem with this is that unfortunately, very few the characters on the page you linked have Alt+Num shortcuts.

None of these options will work for every character, so you will still have to resort to copying and pasting in some cases, but it's better than nothing.

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it's better than nothing, but nothing is not the only other option. I was hoping for a program that would make inserting unicode symbols easier. –  Elazar Leibovich Feb 20 '10 at 16:26
    
Well, judging by the vast number of responses you received in the three months since you posted your question, 'nothing' does appear to be the only other option. You can hope for an easy way out all you want, but that doesn't mean it exists. "Don't let the best be the enemy of the good", as the saying goes. –  Martha Feb 22 '10 at 17:10
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See this Autohotkey script: http://www.autohotkey.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=44766

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It's not a solution, but I can hack a solution using this function. –  Elazar Leibovich Feb 27 '10 at 17:25
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Is there a program or a key map that allows me to easily type mathematcial symbols and unicode letters such as these symbols in a web form?

Maybe a keyboard mapping? An assitant program?

Several years ago, I configured a macro/hotkey program for exactly this purpose. I set up a bunch of keyboard combos as triggers with corresponding paste-character events. That way, I can for example, press Ctrl+Alt+M to enter a μ or Win+Space to enter a non-breaking-space.

I have well over 100 of these to simplify entering all kinds of extended characters and have become quiet dependent on them (I don't even remember the character-codes of most of them).

There are countless programs that you can use for this purpose, but a simple option is to use AutoHotKey. The beauty of AHK is that it fully supports Unicode characters (at least for this purpose) unlike a lot of the older (and even newer?) hotkey/macro programs. It is also easier to edit since it is a simple text file (though you can compile the result to be an executable to auto-run in the background). The only thing to note is that you must set the script file to use UTF-8 encoding instead of ANSI if you want Unicode characters to work in addition to just extended characters (#128-255).

Here is a small script to get you started:

!=  ::Send ≠        ;   Alt + =             =   not-equals (this one just sounds weird)
#X  ::Send Ξ        ;   Win + X             =   capital Xi
^+1 ::Send ¡        ;   Ctrl + Shift + 1    =   inverted exclamation mark
^+4 ::Send ¢        ;   Ctrl + Shift + 4    =   cent symbol
#/  ::Send ‽        ;   Win + /             =   interrobang
#T  ::Send 树        ;   Win + T             =   Chinese character for tree

You can set the keys and their modifiers as desired and only have to copy-paste the characters one final time.

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Come to think of it, the program I use is kind of old and does not support Unicode characters, only extended. Writing up the sample script was so easy, that I think I will spend tonight converting all of my hotkeys to an AHK script. :-) –  Synetech Jul 10 '12 at 18:16
    
For the record, I did it. I copied the list of hotkeys from my old macro program and ported it to AHK and added a few more that the macro program did not support. Now I can easily enter any and all Unicode characters easily and don’t even have to release and re-press the modifiers for each one, nor do I have to worry about wiping out the clipboard. Yay! ⇨°≠↕‽… –  Synetech Sep 6 '12 at 17:04
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