How to Type Special Characters Like Copyright Symbol, Fractions, Accents and Umlauts, Pound and Euro Currency, etc

By Techwalla Contributor

Every time I have to type in some special symbol that's not on my keyboard, it used take me 15 minutes to remind myself of how to do it, and then dig up the right ASCII codes and such. Nowadays, if I need a £, ©, Ñ, ¥ or æ, I can get 'em in a jiffy. Here are a few different ways to do it.

Step 1

**Use CopyPasteCharacter**A handy-dandy website,, has a large-format visual display of some of the most commonly used special characters and symbols that are not ordinarily found on your keyboard. Even handier, simply click on the character in question, and it's immediately copied to your clipboard. Just go back to the document you're working on, and paste the character right in. This is a site that's worth a bookmark.

Step 2

**Use the Web to Find Characters**You can fast-find characters on the internet with a quick search. You can search on the character itself, such as 'copyright symbol' or 'upside down question mark' and your top results will almost certainly include the character you're after. Then it's usually just a simple cut and paste to get it into your document.If the character is formatted, and you want it unformatted, just copy it to a spot where the formatting doesn't carry, and then re-copy it before pasting it to your document. For instance, pasting a formatted character to the address bar, or into a search box, will remove the formatting, so that you can then paste it cleanly into your document.

Step 3

**Use the Web to Find Character Sets**You can also do a search on 'Extended Ascii' which will return the full set of standard characters available on most computers. Once you've found a set that looks good to you, just copy and paste the character you need. I tend to use, but there are many others to choose from as well.

Step 4

**Internationalize Your Keyboard**Most computers have built in options to access special characters from the keyboard. Trouble is, though, it's not something that's standardized across different platforms. For Windows Vista systems, for instance, you can add what they call an United States-International keyboard to your options, and then type special characters directly from the keyboard by holding down the Right-Alt key.Instructions for accessing the US-International keyboard in Vista or XP systems can be found at the link in the Resources section.