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Presently, every time I want to check something off I have to Google "checkmark", copy the symbol from a 3rd party website, paste it into a text editor to remove formatting, and then copy and paste it into the program I'm trying to use. (Word has an option to remove formatting, but most other programs don't.)

I'm trying to figure out a faster way.

Some fonts (like Webdings) have a special checkmark character, but this means it only works if that font is supported. Lots of applications and websites won't let you specify a Webdings font. And this is still a pain to have to change the font, and if you type something else next to the checkmark it will also be in Webdings and have to be changed, which is annoying.

When I hold down Alt and type 0 1 4 9, then I get a nice bullet (•). These are super handy, since most of the formatted lists add extra whitespace that's nearly impossible to get rid of and adds an ugly gap before the list.

According to (https://www.alt-codes.net/check-mark-symbols.php) I should be able to type the text 2 7 0 5, select it, and then hit Alt+X. However, this hasn't worked in any program I've tried. In Notepad++, for example, it wants to close the current file, and in Google Chrome it does nothing.

According to (https://softwareaccountant.com/alt-code-for-checkmark/) I should be able to hold down alt and type 1 0 0 0 3. However, when I do this I get a double exclamation mark (‼) instead of a checkmark for every application except for Microsoft Word. (As the site does also say.)

Just to be sure, I made an AutoHotKey macro to run through all the possible combinations of numbers that I could create with the Alt key, and ran it overnight to build a big list. The checkmark never appeared at all, though the bullet appeared over and over again every 256 entries. For example, I can make a bullet by typing any of the following key combinations:

  • Alt+0149
  • Alt+0405
  • Alt+0661
  • Alt+0917
  • Alt+1031
  • Alt+1287
  • Alt+1543
  • etc...
  • Alt+9991
  • Alt+00149
  • Alt+00405
  • etc...
  • Alt+99847

However, I can't seem to find any combination which allows me to make any other more interesting symbols, and definitely no checkmark.

Can anyone explain why this isn't working and what I should be able to do so that I could type a checkmark using the alt code. Or is this not really possible outside of Microsoft Word and I just have to accept it and keep copying it from somewhere else?

1
  • Something that might be useful for you: The emoji window (win+.) has a tab dedicated to special characters that allows you to insert unicode characters where alt codes aren't generally accepted.
    – MMM
    Jul 14, 2021 at 11:08

4 Answers 4

5

The easiest way is to press Windows+. (dot) or Windows+; (semicolon) then type "check" to search for "check mark". This works anywhere on Windows, even without a numpad

emoji pane

See How do I bring up the emoji IME on Windows 10?


If you want to type arbitrary Unicode characters not in the above list then you must use the hex numpad by creating a registry key named EnableHexNumpad with type REG_SZ in HKCU\Control Panel\Input Method, set its value to 1 then reboot. After that you can type the character as Alt+Unicode codepoint value. The first numpad + before the code point is required!!!

So to type ✓ which is U+2713 just press Alt+2713

Similarly to type U+2705 ✅ press Alt+2705

See also:


Note that you can't use Alt code with decimal numbers larger than 255, except in a few applications that capture the Alt hotkeys and process the Alt codes themselves. Most will just use the default Windows behavior which is the integer value modulo 256 (i.e. the last byte of the value). As you already realized, the bullet appeared over and over again every 256 entries

Microsoft Word is one of the programs that treat Alt codes specially, that's why you see the above behavior. Alt+X is a special shortcut of MS Word and other similar text editors like Wordpad or Libre Office so of course you can't use it elsewhere. See I can use Alt-X to enter Unicode on an old machine. How is this possible?

For example 10003 % 256 = 19 (0x2713 & 0xFF = 0x13) and 10004 % 256 = 20 (0x2714 & 0xFF = 0x14). Look at code page 437 which is the default on most US computers and you'll see that 19/0x13 and 20/0x14 are code points for ‼ and ¶

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  • I can not type and search in emoji IME, does it depend on Windows version (I've Win 10 1909), or is there a setting for it? Jul 30, 2021 at 7:18
  • @MátéJuhász it was available since the Insider Preview Build 16215 or the Fall Creators Update v1709 in 2017. Probably you've disabled it somehow
    – phuclv
    Jul 30, 2021 at 7:28
  • Note that name of the Emoji you search for should be typed in the language of the Windows installation. E.g. when looking for ✔ I need to type the Dutch word vink rather than check
    – Berend
    Jul 30, 2021 at 7:36
1

Notepad++

Workaround 1

First workaround is to create/save a python script. Then run it when you need to insert the checkmark character.

  1. Go to Plugins -> PLugins Admin. Install Python Script plugin
  2. After the installation, Go to Plugins -> Plugins Admin -> Python Script -> New Script. Save window will open, give the script a name.
  3. Enter the code below, then save it.
checkmark = u'\u2705'
editor.addText(checkmark)
  1. When you want to insert the checkmark character, go to Plugins -> Plugins Admin -> Python Script -> Scripts, and select the script you saved. It will be automatically inserted

Workaround 2

Another workaround is to use find and replace to insert the checkmark character.

  • Press Ctrl+H
  • Find what: (a space)
  • Replace with: \x{2705}
  • Search mode: Regular expression

Unicode character in Notepad++ via Find and Replace

MS Word, LibreOffice Writer, Wordpad

Entering 2705 then pressing Alt+X works with MS Word (as already stated by @phuclv); it also works the same in LibreOffice Writer and Wordpad

MS Word

Unicode character in MS Word

LibreOffice Writer

Unicode character in LibreOffice Writer

-1

✓ ALT 10003 Check mark ✔ ALT 10004 Heavy check mark

But i guess the program where you use the code has to support unicode

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  • Thanks. To be clear, Notepad++ (for example) fully supports working with unicode characters. As in displaying, copying, pasting, etc... I just don't have a way to type them natively that I can find. Are you aware of any other program (aside from Microsoft Word) where those codes work? Is there something each program should have done if they wanted to support it, and why would no programs do that step?
    – azoundria
    Jul 13, 2021 at 22:47
  • If you have a spare key on your keyboard that you don't use maybe you can substitute that key by "✓" using a program like sharpkeys or other.... Jul 13, 2021 at 22:50
  • I can't actually test the alt code'cause my laptop doesn't have a num pad. Jul 13, 2021 at 22:52
  • 10003 and 10004 show up as and respectively on my end.
    – MMM
    Jul 14, 2021 at 11:02
  • 1
    @MMM because 10003 and 10004 modulo 256 equal to 19 and 20 which represent and in CP437. I've explained this at the end of my answer
    – phuclv
    Jul 29, 2021 at 16:36
-1

A quick solution for your problem is a clipboard manager.

I use ditto, there you can set clips never to be auto deleted and also assign a name for them.

Once done, just press Ctrl-` to activate ditto, start typing the name and press Enter to insert.

(Some apps doesn't like to be interrupted by Ditto, that case you also need to press CTRL+V)

enter image description here

At first it requires some extra work (< 1 min) to set up your clips, in long term however it's much easier to type names than remembering ALT codes

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  • Windows also has a built-in clipboard manager. Just enable clipboard history and press Win+V to open it
    – phuclv
    Jul 30, 2021 at 7:29
  • You can also run this powershell script to manage the clipboard
    – phuclv
    Jul 30, 2021 at 7:30
  • @phuclv: yes, there is a built-in one too. However you can't give a custom name to pinned items, so it's not convenient with several pinned items. Jul 30, 2021 at 8:03

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