I am not really familiar with Unicode. I have some icons as .png files and I need to find Unicode symbols for them.

Not sure if they exist. Not sure how to do a smart search for this kind of information.

These are the icons:

  1. There is a German punctuation which is similar:

    enter image description here

  2. Light bulb:

    enter image description here

  3. Command Line Interface symbol:

    enter image description here

  4. "Multiple tabs" symbol:

    enter image description here


  • 5
    Note that, depending on the situation, you might control the font being used. In that case, there are fonts which provide various icons (often as ligatures), like Material Design Icons, that might have ones similar to what you're looking for. Aug 11, 2021 at 18:09
  • 2
    What @RedwolfPrograms said is a great suggestion. Another one really used is FontAwesome, which includes the symbols you need. Make sure you check the license of the fonts. Aug 11, 2021 at 18:37
  • Unicode also has a section set aside for custom defined emoji
    – qwr
    Aug 11, 2021 at 22:00
  • 10
    Unicode is primarily about encoding intent. It's less important that you choose a code point that (in a given font) looks like your icon, than that it represents the same idea as your icon. Most icons represent things that aren't encoded in Unicode, and when they do, you are trading control over a specific PNG to a combination of the code point and the font used to render that code point. The further you stray from Unicode's original intent (to encode writing systems for human languages), the more difficult it is to find an appropriate match.
    – chepner
    Aug 12, 2021 at 12:49
  • Be sure your icons convey the desired meaning. For instance, some applications use the "two squares" icon to mean "copy" rather than "tabs" (or "create new tab"?). Also, I'm not sure what to make of the "»" icon, but hopefully that's clear from the context within your app.
    – noughtnaut
    Aug 12, 2021 at 17:53

3 Answers 3


On the website Shapecatcher.com you can make a drawing and it will try to determine what the closest Unicode character is that resembles your drawing (somewhat). I am in no way, shape or form affiliated with that website or its creator, and it is free to use.

Right-pointing double angle quotation mark: » U+00BB

Electric light bulb: 💡 U+1F4A1

Two joined squares: ⧉ U+29C9 or perhaps Upper right drop-shadowed white square: ❐ U+2750


GNOME Character Map lets you search for Unicode characters.


  • » (U+00BB RIGHT-POINTING DOUBLE ANGLE QUOTATION MARK = right guillermet) – not semantically meaningful, so you'll have to mark it up for screen readers.
  • ≫ (U+226B MUCH GREATER-THAN) – also not semantically meaningful.
  • ⏩ (U+23E9 BLACK RIGHT-POINTING DOUBLE TRIANGLE = fast forward) – means fast forward, but most emoji fonts display it strangely.
  • ❭❭ (U+276D MEDIUM RIGHT-POINTING ANGLE BRACKET ORNAMENT) – shown twice (and not meaningful)
  • ❱❱ (U+2771 HEAVY RIGHT-POINTING ANGLE BRACKET ORNAMENT) – shown twice (also not meaningful)
  • 🞂🞂 (U+1F782 BLACK RIGHT-POINTING ISOSCELES RIGHT TRIANGLE) – shown here twice (probably not meaningful)

I don't think there's anything better in Unicode.

Light bulb

  • 💡 (U+1F4A1 ELECTRIC LIGHT BULB = idea)

Command-line interface

  •  (U+F120 in the private use area) – FontAwesome renders it like >_, but it's in the private use area so it's completely meaningless in other fonts.
  • 🗔‍⌨ (U+1F5D4, U+200D, U+2328) – an Emoji sequence I just invented, meaning “terminal window” (I didn't have the characters for a more direct translation; sorry). It's not supported on anything, but it might be one day!

I don't think there's anything in Unicode.

“Multiple tabs” symbol

  • 🗗 (U+1F5D7 OVERLAP = overlapping offset windows) – seems to be semantically the right choice.
  • 🗍 (U+1F5CD EMPTY PAGES) – displays as three in my font (Noto Sans Symbols2)
  • 7
    For the “strange emoji display”, there are the variation selectors: By appending the “VS15” U+FE0E character to the emoji character, you’ll switch from “colorful emoji” to “text” display variant, cf. “⏩” (without VS), “⏩︎” (with VS), or “💡” vs. “💡︎”.
    – Mormegil
    Aug 12, 2021 at 8:10
  • 2
    @Mormegil Thanks. That doesn't do anything on my machine (Firefox bug?), but it should work in theory.
    – wizzwizz4
    Aug 12, 2021 at 8:50
  • 1
    Strange, Firefox@Linux, Firefox@Windows, and Edge@Windows all work fine for me (though with slightly different fonts, e.g. the text lightbulb is outlined on Linux but solid black on Windows).
    – Mormegil
    Aug 12, 2021 at 8:57
  • 1
    @Mormegil It's a font thing, then. (I have one emoij font, maximum, on this machine.)
    – wizzwizz4
    Aug 12, 2021 at 10:13
  • 2
    @MichaelHampton I assume the double arrow icon is not supposed to mean “unpaired quotation mark”.
    – wizzwizz4
    Aug 12, 2021 at 13:05

Here are 2 symbols using box drawing characters.

Command Line Interface symbol:

┃ >_ ┃

Multiple tabs symbol:

┏━┻━┓ ┃
┃   ┣━┛
  • 1
    nice answer and link!
    – chiliNUT
    Aug 13, 2021 at 0:30

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