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TECH TIP:  The Windows Character Map

 

Ever have the need to use special characters in a Word document or an email – like these - ¢ ® ¿ é ë ñ.  

 

If you have used special characters in Microsoft Word, you probably did it by clicking on the Insert menu and selecting Symbol

 

You probably haven’t inserted special characters in an email because you probably didn’t  think it is possible (there is no Insert -> Symbol option in Outlook).

 

But there is another way to insert special characters into a document or email using the Windows Character Map.  Try this.

  1. Start a new email or a new Word document. 
  2. Now click on the Start Menu.
  3. Click on Programs (or All Programs),
  4. Click on Accessories.
  5. Click on System Tools.
  6. Click on Character Map

(Don’t want to do all that??? Then click on Start and select Run.  Then type charmap and press Enter).

 

The Character Map chart pops on the screen.  Choose the font you want to use – click on the down arrow in the Font section.  Find the character or symbol you want to insert.

 

There are two ways to actually insert the symbol into your email or Word document.

  1. You can click once on the symbol, then click and drag the symbol to your document.
  2. You can click on the symbol, click on Select, then click on Copy.  Go to your email or document and paste in the symbol.

 

Some characters have a special number code that you can type in to get the character.  That code will appear in the lower right hand corner next to the word Keystroke. The keystroke for an accented é is 0233.  To use this keystroke, you must use the number pad on the right side of the keyboard.  Be sure the Number Lock key is on.  Hold down the ALT key while pressing the number keys.  You symbol will pop into your document.

 

I once had a friend named Raphaël Julián Nuñez de Ésteban.  Good thing he knew about the Character Map!

 

For some charts of special keystrokes, see these sites:

 

Spanish Special Characters

http://tlt.its.psu.edu/suggestions/international/bylanguage/spanish.html

 

French Special Characters

http://tlt.its.psu.edu/suggestions/international/bylanguage/french.html

 

Other language charts can be found here

http://tlt.its.psu.edu/suggestions/international/bylanguage/index.html#a

 

More Special Character keystrokes can be found here

http://www.cdrummond.qc.ca/cegep/informat/Professeurs/Alain/files/ascii.htm

 

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E-Mail:    Marshall Adult Education

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