Using special characters (Character Map): frequently asked questions


Here are answers to some of the most common questions about using special characters and Character Map.

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What is a special character?

A special character is a character that can't be found on your keyboard. You can insert special characters by using Character Map or by pressing a combination of keys on your keyboard.

What is Character Map?

Character Map enables you to view the characters that are available in a selected font. Using Character Map, you can copy individual characters or a group of characters to the Clipboard and paste them into any program that can display them.

How do I open Character Map?

Open Character Map by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button. In the search box, type Character Map, and then, in the list of results, click Character Map.

How do I insert a special character into a document?

  1. Open Character Map by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button. In the search box, type Character Map, and then, in the list of results, click Character Map.

  2. Click the Font list, and then click the font you want to use.

  3. Click the special character you want to insert into the document.

  4. Click Select, and then click Copy.

  5. Open your document and click the location in the document where you want the special character to appear.

  6. Click the Edit menu, and then click Paste.

Tip

  • Many programs allow you to drag special characters into documents. To do this, click the character you want to copy. When the character appears enlarged, drag it into the open document.

What is a private character?

A private character is a unique letter or logo character created using Private Character Editor.

How do I create a private character?

To learn how to create private characters, see What is Private Character Editor?

How do I insert a private character into a document?

  1. Open Character Map by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button. In the search box, type Character Map, and then, in the list of results, click Character Map.

  2. Click the Font list, and then click the font you've linked your private characters to.

  3. Click the private character you want to insert into the document.

  4. Click Select, and then click Copy.

  5. Open the document and click the location in the document where you want the private character to appear.

  6. Click the Edit menu, and then click Paste.

Notes

  • If you don't delete previously copied characters in the Characters to copy box, they're copied along with any new characters you select.

  • If a private character doesn't appear correctly in a document, select the character in the document and change its font so that it matches the font you linked it to in Character Map.

  • If you know the keystroke value of the special character you want to insert, you can insert the special character directly into your document by using your keyboard. To do so, open the document and position the cursor where you want the special character to appear. Then, with Num Lock on, press and hold the Alt key, and then press the keys on the numeric keypad that represent the keystroke value of the character you want to input. After you finish typing, release the Alt key.

How do I search for a character by name?

  1. Open Character Map by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button. In the search box, type Character Map, and then, in the list of results, click Character Map.

  2. Click the Font list, and then click the font you want to search in.

  3. Select the Advanced view check box.

  4. Click the Character set list, and then click the character set you want to search in.

    If the character set you want isn't available, choose a different font in the Font list.

  5. In the Search for box, type all or part of the name of the character you're searching for. For example, to search for any Greek letter, type Greek, or to find all types of the Cyrillic character Zhe, type Zhe.

  6. Click Search.

    Character Map displays the characters that match your search.

  7. To start another search, click Reset.

Tip

  • To view the name of a particular character and its associated hexadecimal code, point to the character. When you click on the character, this information is also displayed on the status bar at the bottom of the Character Map window, and it can serve as an example of search terms you can use for additional searches.

How do I search for a character by Unicode category?

Unicode categories are used to group similar types of characters available in a font. For example, the Currency Unicode category groups all of the currency symbols available for a font.

  1. Open Character Map by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button. In the search box, type Character Map, and then, in the list of results, click Character Map.

  2. Click the Font list, and then click the font you want to search in.

  3. Select the Advanced view check box.

  4. Click the Group by list, and then click Unicode Subrange to open the Group By dialog box.

  5. In the Group By dialog box, in the Unicode Subrange list, click the category of character you want to view.

    When you click a category, Character Map displays the characters that belong to that category.

  6. Once you find the character you are looking for, click Select, and then click Copy.

How do I search for a character by Unicode value?

  1. Open Character Map by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button. In the search box, type Character Map, and then, in the list of results, click Character Map.

  2. Click the Font list, and then click the font you want to search in.

  3. Select the Advanced view check box.

  4. Click the Character set list, and then click Unicode.

  5. Click the Group by list, and then click All.

  6. In the Go to Unicode box, type the four-character Unicode value of the character you are looking for.

    The character is automatically highlighted in the grid of characters.

Tip

  • In Character Map, all the characters in a specific font are displayed in the order of their Unicode value. If you don't know the Unicode value of the character you're looking for, you can also scroll through the characters in the font to find it.

How do I search for a Chinese, Japanese, or Korean character by the way it sounds?

You can search for a character by the way it sounds in the following character sets: Japanese Kanji by Hiragana, Korean Hanja by Hangul, Simplified Chinese by PinYin, and Traditional Chinese by Bopomofo. To do so, the character sets must be installed on your computer. For more information, see Add or change an input language.

  1. Open Character Map by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button. In the search box, type Character Map, and then, in the list of results, click Character Map.

  2. Select the Advanced view check box.

  3. Click the Group by list, and then click one of the following character groupings to open the Group By box:

    • Japanese Kanji by Hiragana

    • Korean Hanja by Hangul

    • Simplified Chinese by PinYin

    • Traditional Chinese by Bopomofo

  4. In the Group By box, click the character that corresponds to the sound you want to search for.

    Character Map displays the characters that start with the sound you selected.



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