Came across a character I didn't recognize:

I was interested in knowing more about this character, but on Windows 7 charmap wasn't able to search the pasted-in results (in fact, in that text box, all that was displayed was a blank square)!

How can I go about learning more about this character (i.e. unicode value, how it can be typed, name etc.) using the tools available to me in Windows 7?


Launch WordPad (or MS Word, if you have it), paste the character there, and press Alt X. The character now turns to its hexadecimal Unicode number; in this case, 203D. You can use this number as a key to information, e.g. http://www.fileformat.info/info/unicode/char/203d/

Or you can install BabelPad, where you can click on the “U” icon, paste the number in the “Go to code point” box and then click on the question mark icon to see the information.

There’s also the decodeunicode site, but information there, such as http://www.decodeunicode.org/u+203D is scattered and often anecdotal.

  • Wow! I had never heard of the Alt+X trick before! +1, and looking like the answer I was looking for! – Kit Roed Sep 28 '12 at 19:15

I paste the character into an editor that can display the hex value of a character (even if it can't display it in a currently selected font)

E.g. gvim and it's ga command. You may need to tell the editor to use a Unicode encoding (:set enc=utf8) before pasting the character.

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Then I look up that code on the intertubes.

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  • the ga command in gVim is nice, but the problem I'm getting now is that the character is turning into a regular question-mark "?" (unicode 3F) when I paste it in... what gives? – Kit Roed Sep 28 '12 at 15:56
  • 1
    @Kit: You probably need to tell gVim to use Unicode before pasting the character. :set enc=utf8 should do it. – RedGrittyBrick Sep 28 '12 at 16:09
  • ah, my mistake, I was trying set fileencoding. +1 this method is convoluted, but the strongest answer so far (especially since I had gvim already installed). – Kit Roed Sep 28 '12 at 16:15

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