Use Character Map

Today, I’m going to highlight an app that’s what you’d call an oldie but a goodie. Character Map is a longstanding Windows feature that allows you to easily insert special characters into documents. A special character is one that doesn’t appear on the keyboard. For example, a trademark or a mathematical symbol. Let’s check out how to use it.

Character map can be found in your All apps list in Windows 10 under W for Windows Accessories.


Or just type Character Map into the search box and click the result.


Character Map shows you all of the letters, numbers, and symbols available for a particular font.


The characters available vary from font to font. To select a font, just click the arrow at the top and choose one from the list.


Wingdings, for example, offers all manner of symbols.


To choose a character, click on it and then click on Select. The character will appear in the box at the bottom of the window.


Then choose Copy.


Open the document where you wish to paste the character and move your cursor where you wish to paste the character. Then use either CTRL + V or right-click and choose Paste to add the character.


If you look to the bottom right of Character Map, you’ll also see the keyboard shortcut for the symbol. For the trademark symbol, I could also press the ALT key +0174.


You have the ability to copy multiple symbols at once. For example, if you have a font in a different alphabet and would like to type a whole word in that language, just select them one at a time and then choose Copy.


Tick the box next to Advanced for more options.


You’ll be able to choose different character sets.


And even search for symbols by typing the name in the search box.


It’s a very handy tool.

4 thoughts on “Use Character Map

  1. I enjoyed the “Character Map” info. I never thought about using it that way. I have a OS 10 Laptop and a 7. When I want to type a fraction I do this >>> holding down ALT. KEY and then 00188 = ΒΌ I tried to do this on the 10 but it wouldn’t work. my key pad doesn’t have the numbers key pad like my 7. That might be it? Of course the standard row of numbers at the top. There is embedded numbers on the letter keys by holding down the Fn key. I really miss the numbers key pad but that is the way my 10 came.

    1. One of my laptops didn’t have the numeric keypad, and I wasn’t happy about it. I would like to let you know, because I was looking into it but then the laptop had to be retired for other reasons, if you have a budget for this sort of thing, you can buy a USB numeric keypad for pretty cheap. They basic models were about $10.00 when I was shopping.

  2. I also use the character map sometimes. It’s great for an overview of all the choices. I have a couple additional comments:

    You can call up the character map any time. Sorry, but that wasn’t clear from all the information provided. You don’t need to find the character and then open your document. You can search for characters while documents are open. This is handy for, say, emails, where the program doesn’t typically offer all the options of a word processing program.

    If you are using any version of Word, you can use the “insert” menu. Choose “symbol,” which will bring up choices for special characters or symbols. The special characters (say, “m dash” or “nonbreaking space”) will be listed on one tab, and the other tab for symbols will bring up the character map.

    I run LibreOffice on my Windows laptop, which is presently miles away, and some other word processing program (I don’t even remember the name) on my tablet, but I assume a similar feature is available for most word processing programs. You might have to hunt around a bit in the menus or “help” to find it.

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