Keyboard Symbols List and Instructions


My tutorial for Kindle

How to Make Keyboard Symbols Using Alt Key, HTML and Unicode Characters

Here is a handy list of Alt Key, HTML and Unicode symbols you can make with standard text fonts on your computer keyboard with how-to instructions to make it easy.

It helps if you have a numeric keypad, but if you don’t there are two other methods you can use for making French, Spanish and German accents, copyright symbols, m-dashes, real bullets and oodles more.

Years ago, I started collecting shortcut codes for characters that don’t appear on my computer keyboard. I was publishing print books at the time and really needed to know how to make the copyright sign, a proper ellipsis, bullets, and “n” and “m” dashes.

When I created the first tutorial on my website in 2006, my symbols all used the Alt Key and numeric keypad. I didn’t know much about HTML codes back then.

Over the years, I added to my list of useful shortcuts and eventually had enough to create an extensive tutorial. My tutorial has been on, Squidoo, HubPages, and is now back on my blog.

In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to make cool and useful characters and non-English letters using: (1) the Insert function in Microsoft Word and Publisher, (2) The Character Map for copying and pasting symbols into your document, (3) the original Alt Key shortcuts and (4) HTML and Unicode signs for the most requested symbols.


Three ways for creating keyboard symbols


Microsoft Word includes an “insert” function that makes it very easy to add text characters such as copyright, French accents – you name it.

If you’re working in Word 2003, look first at the top of the screen. You’ll see these headings: File, Edit, View, Insert, Format, etc. Click on “Insert” and on the drop-down list, click on “Symbol.” When the box pops up, click on the symbol you want to insert into your text, then click on the insert button and close the box.

In Word 2007 and 2010, click on the Insert tab, then click on the symbol icon (at the far right). A small box pops up which shows a few characters and the words “More Symbols.” Click on that and then a bigger box pops up with all kinds of cool characters, depending on which font you have open.


You can also copy and paste the required symbols using the Character Map, which can be found by clicking on the Windows Start Menu, then All Programs, then Accessories, System Tools and Character Map. The Character Map box pops up.

Choose the font you wish to use from the drop-down menu at the top. Place your cursor where you’d like to insert the symbol, click on the one you wish to insert, click on the Select Button, then the Copy Button and then paste the character onto your page (using Edit, Paste or the “Control v” shortcut). You’ll also see the Alt Key shortcut at the bottom of the Character Map, for future reference.


Turn on NumLock if it isn’t already selected.

Using the numeric keypad, press the Alt key, and then the numbers (in succession) shown below for the symbol you want to use. For example for © Copyright, hold down Alt, press the number 0, then press the numbers 1, 6, 9. Now you can let up the Alt key.


If you don’t have a numeric keypad, you’ll need to use either the insert function or Character Map method… or try the Unicode characters or HTML numeric codes. A number of these are shown below so you can see what works best for you.


The most frequently requested keyboard symbols

Alt Key shortcuts work best with common text fonts: Arial, Courier New and Times New Roman

(1) Creating Alt Key symbols in Windows
Using the numeric keypad on the right side of your keyboard – with NumLock on – press the Alt Key and the numbers shown in succession. After that, let up the Alt Key.

(2) How to insert Unicode characters
First type the capital letter U, then the plus sign (+) and next the numbers and letters shown – in succession. Then you hold down the Alt Key and press lower case letter x. Then let up the Alt Key.

(3) Using HTML Numeric Codes
Type the Ampersand symbol first, followed by the Number sign – – and then type the numbers in order – followed by a semi-colon.

Copyright ©
Alt, 0, 1, 6, 9 for Print
U+00A9 (Alt, x) for Unicode
&#169 followed by ; for HTML

Trademark ™
Alt, 0, 1, 5, 3 for Print
U+2122 (Alt, x) for Unicode
&#8482 followed by ; for HTML

Bullet •
Alt, 0, 1, 4, 9 for Print
U+2022 (Alt, x) for Unicode
&#8226 followed by ; for HTML

Ellipsis …
Alt, 0, 1, 3, 3 for Print
U+2026 (Alt, x) for Unicode
&#8230 followed by ; for HTML

EM Dash —
Alt, 0, 1, 5, 1 for Print
U+2014 (Alt, x) for Unicode
&#8212 followed by ; for HTML

Paragraph (Pilcrow) ¶
Alt, 0, 1, 8, 2 for Print
U+00B6 (Alt, x) for Unicode
&#182 followed by ; for HTML

Pound Sign £
Alt 0, 1, 6, 3 for Print
U+00A3 (Alt, x) for Unicode
&#163 followed by ; for HTML

Cent Sign ¢
Alt, 0, 1, 6, 2 for Print
U+00A2 (Alt, x) for Unicode
&#162 followed by ; for HTML

One-half ½
Alt, 0, 1, 8, 9 for Print
U+00BD (Alt, x) for Unicode
&#189 followed by ; for HTML

French accent a grave – à
Alt, 0, 2, 2, 4 for Print
U+00E0 (Alt, x) for Unicode
&#224 followed by ; for HTML

French accent e grave – è
Alt, 0, 2, 3, 2 for Print
U+00E8 (Alt, x) for Unicode
&#232 followed by ; for HTML

French accent e acute – é
Alt, 0, 2, 3, 3 for Print
U+00E9 (Alt, x) for Unicode
&#233 followed by ; for HTML

Spanish accent n tilde – ñ
Alt, 0, 2, 4, 1 for Print
U+00F1 (Alt, x) for Unicode
&#241 followed by ; for HTML

Alt, 3 for Print
U+2665 (Alt, x) for Unicode
&#9829 followed by ; for HTML

Degree Sign °
Alt, 0, 1, 7, 6 for Print
U+00B0 (Alt, x) for Unicode
&#176 followed by ; for HTML


Click here for a printable list of keyboard symbols useful for writers.


My tutorial with 150 Alt Key, HTML and Unicode Symbols is available for Kindle. Here’s the Amazon link.


© 2006-2015 Barbara Casey

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