Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Entering Symbols and Other Special Characters
Entering Characters with Character Codes
You might’ve noticed the Character Code box in the Symbol dialog box. (See Figure 5-1.)
Each character and symbol is identified by a unique numeric code called a Unicode
character code . Each of the most common letters and symbols—essentially the ones that have
been in every Western-language font since the dawn of the computer age—can
alternatively be identified by its ASCII character code . (ASCII, which stands for American Standard
Code for Information Interchange, is an older character-encoding system that uses a single
byte to represent each character. That provides for a maximum of 256 characters, a
limitation that led to the development of the Unicode system, which supports thousands of
unique characters.)
Once you know the code for a character, you can use that knowledge to insert the
character using the keyboard. Simply use the key combinations shown in Table 5-3.
Table 5-3 Key Combinations for Entering Symbols and Other Characters
Insert a character using its
ASCII character code
Alt+0 code
Hold down Alt as you type a zero followed
by the code as a decimal value (up to three
digits) on the numeric keypad.
Insert a character using its
Unicode character code
code , Alt+X*
Replace the character to the
left of the insertion point with
its Unicode character code
Use this to learn a character’s code without
opening the Symbol dialog box.
Inserting a Character: An Example
As you’ve seen in this section, Office offers several methods for entering symbols and
characters. You’ll undoubtedly use different methods depending on how often you use
a particular character and which method you find easiest to use. For example, to enter
a copyright symbol (©), you could use any of these techniques:
Choose Insert, Symbol. Scroll until you find © on the Symbols tab, select it, and
click Insert.
Choose Insert, Symbol. Scroll until you find © on the Special Characters tab,
select it, and click Insert.
Type (c). A predeined AutoCorrect entry changes this sequence to a copyright
In Word or Outlook (but not Excel, OneNote, or PowerPoint), press Ctrl+Alt+C,
the predeined shortcut key for the copyright symbol.
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