Although we mainly use letters and numbers on keyboards, whether they are keyboards on smartphones or computers, there is a possibility that from time to time we will have to type some of the characters and / or emoticons.
In the continuation of this article, we will say something more about what we as users need to press on the keyboards in order to be able to type additional symbols, signs, emoticons and the like, otherwise unusual accessories that serve us for communication.
The easiest way to enter a special character in Windows is with the built-in dialer. It contains a huge selection of emojis, symbols and kaomoji (emoji made with Japanese characters) and is much faster than searching for symbols on Google for copying and pasting.
- Press Win +. or Win +; – they both take you to the same menu.
- If you need an emoji, you can search for it by typing.
- If you need a kaomoji or symbol, you can click on them and browse.
- When you find the symbol you want, just click to insert.
Each category follows your most commonly used characters, so if you have one that you insert often, just go to the far left at the bottom of the selection tool and select the clock symbol.
Character Map features
The character map has a bit of an old school aesthetic and does not include emojis / kaomoji, but is more powerful than the new special character selector. Allows you to switch between multiple character sets and languages, allows you to select multiple characters, and is searchable. It’s a little less convenient, but it might pay off if you can’t find what you need in the new selection tool or need more symbols.
- Look for “Character Map” or “charmap” in the Windows search bar. (Alternatively, press Win + R, type “charmap” and click OK.)
- Look for the symbol you are looking for. You can check the “Advanced View” box to get filters and search options. Click on the character you want.
- Either click “Select” or double-click to add a character to the list of characters to copy.
- Each time you add another character to the list, the entire list is sent to your clipboard, so when you select whatever you want, just use Ctrl + V to insert the characters where you want.
If you need to type accented letters or a few common symbols, an on-screen keyboard can be a good way to access them. There are several ways to run it, but the easiest way is probably to simply add it to the taskbar. Right-click the taskbar and select “Show Touch Keypad”.
- To type a letter with an accent, just long press the desired letter, then hover your mouse over the correct accent.
- Use the & 123 button in the lower left corner to enter symbols. If you want to see more symbols, press the button with the omega symbol.
- For emojis, press the smiley key on the main keyboard.
Alt key codes
Experienced users with numeric keyboards and good memory may prefer to use the Alt + trick [brojčani kod]. This only works if you have a keyboard with a separate numeric keypad, not just the numbers in the top row. Some laptops also have a hidden number lock that you can use, but the procedure for activating it differs depending on the model.
- Press and hold Alt.
- Enter the code that corresponds to the symbol you want.
- Release Alt.
For example, Alt + 1 is a smiley: ☺, Alt + 228 is a sigma: Σ, and Alt + 0128 is a euro: €.
There are many codes, so you will need to search for them at least a few times before remembering the ones you use most often. Alt-Codes has a fairly extensive library, but I prefer AltCodeUnicode because it has a textual description of each symbol, which makes it much easier to search.
If you have a numeric keypad and often type the same symbols, this can be a pretty quick way. However, if you have to stop and search for codes all the time, searching for symbols in some other way will probably be faster.
Other ways you can come up with special symbols
There are many other solutions for typing special characters in Windows 10, although they are a little out of reach of this article. You can install a keyboard from another language and use it if you need accented letters a lot. Creating an AutoHotKey script for your frequently used characters is also an option. You can also set the writing program you use to automatically replace certain letter combinations with the desired symbol.
However, it all depends on how often you need to use the signs. If you type it only once (and maybe copy and paste it a few more times within the same document), you can easily search for it using Win +. or “charmap”. However, if you’re constantly typing special characters in Windows 10, you may want to look at a more complex solution.
Troubleshooting or Troubleshooting
If for any reason the special characters do not work when you use the above methods, here are some possible fixes for you.
Check the keyboard language
It is very easy to change the default keyboard language. If more than one language is enabled on the keyboard, you can switch between languages by simply pressing Alt + Shift. With that in mind, press Alt + Shift and make sure your Windows keyboard language matches the language on your physical keyboard.
Turn off the number key or NumLock
NumLock, a key that bothers most people more than it actually uses. If your special character Alt codes don’t work, make sure NumLock is turned off on your keyboard. Press the NumLock key and make sure the LED connected to it is off.
Reinstall the keyboard drivers
Another solution is to reinstall the keyboard drivers. Go to Device Manager (you can type it in the Start menu search), click the Keyboard drop-down menu, then right-click your keyboard and click “Uninstall Device”. Then turn off the keyboard, turn it on again and it should be reinstalled, hopefully all the buttons will work as they should.
I hope this article has helped you discover how to type special characters and symbols on computers.
Writes: Ivan Hečimović