How do I type Unicode?

Answered by Willie Powers

To type Unicode characters, you can follow a few different methods depending on your operating system and software. Here are some common ways to type Unicode characters:

1. Use the Character Map or Character Viewer:
– On Windows, you can access the Character Map by pressing the Windows key + R, typing “charmap” in the Run dialog box, and hitting Enter. From there, you can select a Unicode character and copy it to the clipboard to paste it into your document.
– On Mac, you can access the Character Viewer by clicking on the Apple menu, selecting “System Preferences,” then “Keyboard,” and finally, “Show Emoji & Symbols.” In the Character Viewer, you can search for Unicode characters and insert them into your text.

2. Use the Alt or Option key shortcuts:
– On Windows, you can type Unicode characters using their decimal code by holding down the Alt key and entering the decimal code on the numeric keypad. For example, to type the degree symbol (°), you can hold Alt and type 0176.
– On Mac, you can type Unicode characters using their hexadecimal code by holding down the Option key and entering the hexadecimal code. For example, to type the copyright symbol (©), you can hold Option and type 00A9.

3. Use Unicode input methods:
– Many operating systems offer specific input methods that allow you to type Unicode characters directly. For example, on Windows, you can enable the “United States-International” keyboard layout, which lets you type diacritical marks and other special characters by using specific key combinations. On Mac, you can use the “Unicode Hex Input” keyboard layout to directly input hexadecimal codes for Unicode characters.

4. Use Unicode shortcuts in specific software:
– Some software applications have built-in shortcuts or methods for typing Unicode characters. For example, in Microsoft Word, you can type the hexadecimal code of a Unicode character, followed by ALT + X to convert it into the actual character. So, typing 0024 and then pressing ALT + X will result in the dollar symbol ($).

Remember, the availability of certain Unicode characters may vary depending on the font you are using and the software you are working with. Additionally, not all applications or platforms support the same input methods or shortcuts.

In my personal experience, I have found the Character Map (Windows) and Character Viewer (Mac) to be user-friendly and convenient for inserting Unicode characters. However, when working with specific software like Microsoft Word, using the Unicode shortcuts provided by the software can be more efficient.

Typing Unicode characters may require some initial exploration and trial and error, but once you become familiar with the methods available to you, it becomes easier to incorporate Unicode characters into your text.