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Special Characters

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Formatting Special Characters

This post is a compilation of excellent posts originally made by Mel Johnson, with special thanks to skip and his brother for information on encoding and Windows, Ari for instructions on "ISO Encoding," Alexandra for the helpful hit to add the Character Map to the taskbar, and soubrette_fan, who gave instructions for Mac OS X.

The following should work with Western European (ISO), Western European (Windows), and Unicode (UTF-8) in Internet Explore 6.0 (View/Encoding), and Western (ISO-8859-1) and Unicode (UTF-8) in Firefox 1.0.4 (View/Character Encoding) and Windows XP, with language and keyboard set to "US English."

Copying from Windows Character Map

1. To open Character Map,

    Click Start
    Point to All Programs
    Point to Accessories
    Point to System Tools
    Click Character Map

2. Set the font from the drop-down box, if necessary.

3. Click on the character you need.

4. Click Select.

5. When you are finished selecting, click Copy.

6. Paste into your post.

For Windows Users:

1. You can add the Character Map to your Quick Launch bar, if your taskbar and Quick Launch are visible.

    a. The Taskbar is the bar on which the Start button, Quick Launch shortcuts, and non-current window icons are displayed. (Default placement is at the bottom of the screen, but this can be changed to the top or side.)
    b. The Quick Launch taskbar is the far left section of the taskbar, directly to the right of "Start" button, and consists of a series of small icons, which represent shortcuts to specific programs, folders, and utilities. The default placement is at the bottom, include "Desktop" and "Internet Explorer."
      i. To display Quick Launch taskbar if it not visible, right click on an empty area of the taskbar, select Toolbars/Quick Launch
      ii. The setting Lock the Taskbar may have to be "unclicked" for this to work.

2. Create a shortcut to Character Map and drag and drop it to the Quick Launch taskbar or find the Character Map from the menu and drag and drop it to the Quick Launch taskbar.

    a. For XP users, the Character Map is located at Start/All Programs/Accessories/System Tools/Character Map.
    b. For other Windows system, please check the help files at Start/Help.

Copying from This Post!

It may be tedious, but if the following instructions don't work with your browser and operating system, you can always highlight the characters from this post, and copy and paste them into your post.

Using ISO Codes-- For All PC Users

1. The syntax for name encoding is "&" + number code + ";" with no spaces.

2. If you preview, if coding is successful, the code will disappear and the character will appear in its place.

3. A list of codes can be found at this link:


(I was unable to make the "Name Codes" work from either Mozilla or IE by copying and pasting the code off the site, but Ari did in her original example.)

For PC Users with a Numbers Pad

Set the "Num Lock" to "on," and use the numbers on the pad. This won't work with numbers across the top of the keyboard.

A list of the three digit codes (not including the "0XXX" series) can be found here (using the Dec column):


Common Latin-based European and Latin America:

alt 133 = à

alt 0192 = À

alt 128 = Ç

alt 135 = ç

alt 130 = é

alt 144 = É

alt 138 = è

alt 0200 = È

alt 161 = í

alt 141 = ì

alt 164 = ñ

alt 165 = Ñ

Common German and Scandinavian characters

alt 134 = å

alt 0197 = Å

alt 0248 = ø

alt 0216 = Ø

alt 145 = æ

alt 146 = Æ

alt 132 = ä

alt 142 = Ä

alt 137 = ë

alt 148 = ö

alt 153 = Ö

alt 129 = ü

alt 154 = Ü

Additional Characters

alt 139 = ï

alt 140 = î

alt 141 = ì

alt 0221 = Ý

alt 152 = ÿ


alt 172 = ¼

alt 171 = ½

alt 0190 = ¾


(º) is alt 167

Copyright and Registered

alt 0174 = ®

alt 0169 = ©


alt 155 = ¢

alt 156 = £

alt 157 = ¥

alt 158 = P

alt 159 = ƒ

alt 0128 = €

For PC Users without a Numbers Pad

1. Create a numbers pad:

    a. Press the fn (function) + alt keys down together and press the corresponding letter to create a number. (The fn key should be located on the bottom left of the keyboard between the Ctrl and Alt keys.)
    b. Following is a list of combinations:
      fn + alt + m = 0
      fn + alt + j = 1
      fn + alt + k = 2
      fn + alt + l = 3
      fn + alt + u = 4
      fn + alt + i = 5
      fn + alt + o = 6
      fn + alt + 7 = 7
      fn + alt + 8 = 8
      fn + alt + 9 = 9

2. Use the list above to create characters.

For Mac OS X Users

1. Go to System Preferences

2. Select the Input Menu tab.

2. Select the Character Palette and "U.S." checkboxes.

3. Be sure the Show input menu in menu bar option is checked.

    a. This should make a small U.S. flag appear in the menu bar.
    b. If you click on it and select Character Palette, it will show you a list of accented characters.
    c. Click on the one you want
    d. Select "Insert."

For All Operating Systems

Type the post in a program, like Word, that supports special characters and paste into the reply input box on the site.

While this means using another program, the upside is that you'll probably get Spell Check at the same time :wallbash:

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