How to Type Special Characters Using Alt Codes

Sometimes you need to incorporate a special symbol into your writing which is not on the keyboard. The only way to generate special characters, other than copying and pasting them from elsewhere, is by using what are known as alt codes. You can use alt codes to generate music notes to represent lyrics, generate symbols from other languages, currency symbols such as £, €, and ¥, and other special characters. The Windows Character Map helps you find special characters and see their alt codes.

Step

Open the "Start" menu, move to "All Programs," "Accessories," "System Tools" and click "Character Map." Click the font you want to search in using the "Font" menu. Browse through the list of available characters or use the "Search for" field to search for a character by name.

Step

Click on the character whose alt code you want to see. The code is displayed at the bottom of the window. Switch to the program in which you want to type the code.

Step

Press and hold the "Alt" key on your keyboard. Type the code found in the Character Map window and release the "Alt" key. On laptops with no keypad, you may need to press the "Fn" key to use the keypad numbers.