Windows OS: Alt Codes / Symbols / Special Characters

What?
This is a simple article to demonstrate how to type special characters not found on your keyboard or on a Qwerty UK/US keyboard layout.

Why?
Being able to type international characters from other alphabets is necessary when dealing with languages other than English. Preserving files in unicode or utf-8 encoding will help but there will be times when you have lost the formatting and get weird question mark characters instead such as: .

How?
Ensure you are using the numbers on your numeric keypad and NOT the numbers at the top of your keyboard for the following steps. Also check that you have "Num Lock" on/enabled. Typing a special character is 3 easy steps:

  1. Hold down the ALT key (preferably the one on the left of the spacebar and not the Alt Gr often found on the right of the spacebar)
  2. then press the numbers in the numeric pad (while still holding down the ALT key),
  3. then let go of the ALT key.
Remember: This will not work with the numbers at the top of your keyboard unless you are on a laptop and can apply a function lock (fn) and the numbers on the right of your keyboard are enabled.

Which numbers you might ask? Well every character is built of a collection of digits that are to be entered in their specific order. Search for "Alt Codes" or "Symbol Codes" in a search engine for a full list. Meanwhile, here's some that you may need frequently:

Currency
¢Cent sign0162
£British Pound0163
Euro currency0128
¥Japanese Yen0165
ƒDutch Florin0131
¤Generic currency symbol0164

Mathematics
÷Division sign0247
°Degree symbol0176
¬Not symbol0172
±Plus/minus0177
µMicro0181
Per Mille (1/1000th)0137

Website
©Copyright symbol0169
®Registered symbol0174
Trademark0153
List Dot0149
§Section Symbol0167
Dagger0134
Double Dagger0135
en-dash0150
em-dash0151
Paragraph Symbol (Pilcrow)0182

Western Languages
ÀUppercase A grave0192
ÃUppercase A tilde0195
ÄUppercase A umlaut0196
ÅUppercase A ring0197
ÆUppercase Ash0198
ÇUppercase C Cedille0199
ÈUppercase E grave0200
ÉUppercase E acute0201
ÊUppercase E circumflex0202
ËUppercase E umlaut0203
ÍUppercase I acute0205
ÎUppercase I circumflex0206
ÏUppercase I umlaut0207
ÑUppercase N tilde165
ÐUppercase Edh/Eth0208
ÒUppercase O grave0210
ÓUppercase O acute0211
ÕUppercase O tilde0213
ÖUppercase O umlaut0214
ØUppercase O slash0216
ŒUppercase Ethel0140
ÙUppercase U grave0217
ÚUppercase U acute0218
ÛUppercase U circumflex0219
ÜUppercase U umlaut0220
ŠUppercase S caron0138
ÞUppercase Thorn0222
ÝUppercase Y acute0221
ŸUppercase Y umlaut0159
ŽUppercase Z caron0142
ßEszett0223
àLowercase A grave0224
ãLowercase A tilde0227
äLowercase A umlaut0228
åLowercase A ring0229
æLowercase Ash0230
çLowercase C Cedille0231
èLowercase E grave0232
éLowercase E acute0233
êLowercase E circumflex0234
ëLowercase E umlaut0235
íLowercase I acute0237
îLowercase I circumflex0238
ïLowercase I umlaut0239
ñLowercase N tilde164
ðLowercase Edh/Eth0240
òLowercase O grave0242
óLowercase O acute0243
õLowercase O tilde0245
öLowercase O umlaut0246
øLowercase O slash0248
œLowercase Ethel0156
šLowercase S caron0154
ùLowercase U grave0249
úLowercase U acute0250
ûLowercase U circumflex0251
üLowercase U umlaut0252
ýLowercase Y acute0253
þLowercase Thorn0254
ÿLowercase Y umlaut0255
žLowercase Z caron0158
¡Upside-down Exclamation0161
¿Upside-down Question0191
ªFeminine Ordinal0170
ºMasculine Ordinal0186
«Left angle quote0171
»Right angle quote0187

Additional
"Alt Codes" can also be used in HTML. For example the British Pound sign (£) can be typed by holding the ALT key and entering 0163. In HTML, the numeric entity that will display a British Pound sign is £

Credit where Credit is Due:


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Disclaimer: The information on this website is provided without warranty and any content is merely the opinion of the author. Please try to test in development environments prior to adapting them to your production environments. The articles are written in good faith and, at the time of print, are working examples used in a commercial setting.

Thank you for visiting and, as always, we hope this website was of some use to you!

Kind Regards,

Joel Lipman
www.joellipman.com

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