Sometimes, an alt-code that I find on the internet does not work on my PC, for example Pi alt code (Alt+227) throws Ń isntead of π.
So I need to use the character in clipboard (or in a file or wherever) and conver it to Alt-code compatible with my system. Is this possible?


The Alt code are system-dependent: they depend on the local of the system. In some situations, it also depends on the application software. An Alt number code works consistently only when number is less than 127.

General info: How to enter Unicode characters in Microsoft Windows.


You can start "Character map", choose your font, search you character and at the bottom (in the status bar) is the Alt code you need.

(In Windows 7 you can press Start and begin type Character map en choose it at the top.)

The fact that you get a different character with Alt + 227 is probably that you're using a different font. So choosing the right font in "Character map" is important.

BTW nowadays the Alt combinations consists of a 4 digit number to accommodate a wider range of Unicode characters. The three numbers still work but the Alt + 227 is different from Alt + 0227.

Character map

  • 3
    It's not because of different font. The difference is the same accross fonts and applications. – Tomáš Zato Oct 7 '13 at 20:44
  • 2
    Also, the keystroke is NOT displayed for all the letters. Have a look. – Tomáš Zato Oct 7 '13 at 20:49
  • Alt+227 is Pi in the old MS-DOS ascii-set. It used to work in MS-DOS applications (I think thats why they float all over the internet). I see you are right that some letters don't have Alt-codes. I should test if the Alt++ works with the Unicode ones. – Rik Oct 7 '13 at 20:56
  • I can't get the Pi to work either in random application. I can however get it to work in Wordpad and Word. Type 03c0. Now type Alt+X and the 03c0 is converted to π. This is method 4 of the link Jukka suggested. I can't get the Alt+++code to work. – Rik Oct 7 '13 at 21:20
  • You must change the registry entry and relogin. I didn't try it however, so maybe it doesn't work at all. (I have heavy problems with relogin or restart, because of my system status) Besides that, I just discovered zergling walking on my wall, so I'm focusing on it. – Tomáš Zato Oct 7 '13 at 21:40

Alt codes only work up to 255. There's a slight trick: adding a lead 0 will give you consistent results. Alt-0227 consistently is ã. But since Alt codes only work up to 0255, it's clear that the thousands of characters needed for Chinese, Korean, Russian, Greek, etc. can't all be supported. The only greek character I found was Alt-0181 µ (mu).

  • Alt+0181 represents Micro Sign (µ, Unicode U+00B5) not Greek Small Letter Mu (μ, Unicode U+03BC). Similar or even seemingly same glyph (look) but different character! Anyone could get a proof using next windows command line statement: if "µ"=="μ" (echo same) else (echo diff) – JosefZ Jan 11 '16 at 21:22
  • @JosefZ: As an engineer, I consider 3 micrometer = 3 micron = 3 mu. And Unicode apparently agrees with me, U+00B5 is a compatibility character. They couldn't move µ to U+03BC without breaking the Latin-1 block. (U+0080-U+00FF is identical to 8859-1 0x80-oxFF) so they copied it. – MSalters Jan 11 '16 at 21:32
  • From your source: Though not the intention of Unicode to encode such measuring units the repertoire includes six (6) such symbols that should not be used by authors: the characters' decompositions should be used instead. …, Micro Sign (µ U+00B5: use U+03BC instead). – JosefZ Jan 11 '16 at 21:55
  • As a programmer: if ("µ" -Match "μ") {"same"} else {"diff"} in PowerShell (which supports Unicode natively) returns diff. – JosefZ Jan 11 '16 at 22:49
  • @JosefZ: Don't read too much in that. Microsoft is know to implement Unicode string comparison incorrectly, with ä being unequal to ä depending on the representation. It shouldn't have been a binary comparison. – MSalters Jan 12 '16 at 8:11

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