How to Type special Characters and Symbols Using Keyboard Shortcuts

February 12, 2012 § Leave a comment

Computer users and Web site designers or bloggers struggling to remember how to type vital symbols, accent marks and other extra characters often consider the “hunt” an unwanted distraction from the scheme they’re working on. But it’s a problem that is usually literally remedied.

By using two or three computer keys in aggregate with one another, or by typing in a few characters, computer users can literally execute accent marks as well as symbols and other extra characters. Currency symbols, mathematics symbols and punctuation not found on the keyboard are often tied to extra “keyboard shortcuts.”

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Keyboard shortcuts exist for both base symbols and for marks and characters that are used less often. There’s no need to waste time and power with pull-down menus and trial-and-error, when guides exist to direct computer users to keyboard shortcuts.

How to Type special Characters and Symbols Using Keyboard Shortcuts

Sometimes, the shortcut commands are separate when you’re typing into a word processing document as opposed to something for the Internet. The commands may vary based on the operating ideas you are using as well (i.e.: Windows vs. Mac). Other combinations of keys create the desired stamp in html, for the Web.

Symbols ordinarily used in mathematics, such as fractions and the quadrate root sign, are literally executed using keyboard shortcuts. For example, the pi stamp will appear in your Windows document if you hold down the Alt key and type 0227 on the keypad. On a Mac, get pi to appear by plainly holding down the selection key and pressing P. Finally, if you’re working in html, the keyboard shortcut for pi is ? or ?.

The process is similar for currency marks such as the British pound: Hold down the Alt key and type 0163; use selection 3; or type £ or £, depending what you’re doing.

Accent marks and linked characters are often employed when the writer is composing text in a non-English language. For example, one aggregate of keys can execute the tilde often used in Spanish, while other shortcuts abruptly bring up grave or acute accents, a circumflex or umlaut over vowels.

Other base symbols, marks, characters and punctuation that have keyboard shortcuts include: copyright and trademark symbols, bullets, em-dashes and en-dashes and paragraph symbols.

Memorizing the shortcuts for the symbols and characters you use most, or holding a Web-based guide on the ready, can save time and frustration so computer users can get back to the task at hand.

Copyright 2009 by Kevin Savetz

How to Type special Characters and Symbols Using Keyboard Shortcuts

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