Sometimes when typing in Microsoft Word or other document editor program, we need to type in a special character, e.g., the copyright character (©) or the registered symbol (®). You can always search online for these symbols and copy paste them, but Windows already has a tool called Character Map to find and copy-paste them in your documents. The Character Map tool has thousands of symbols and characters available in the Unicode or ANSI format, ready for your use. You can use Character Map to insert these symbols in any program you want. Here is how:
- Press Windows Logo + R on your keyboard to open the run dialog. Type charmap and press Enter. This would open the Character Map tool.
- In the Character Map, you can select a font for which you want to search the character. Not all fonts contain the same characters. Most of the Microsoft supplied unicode fonts like Arial Unicode, Lucida Sans, MS Mincho etc., have large number of symbols. You can examine the symbols in the Character Map window by scrolling down the symbols list, until you find the one you are looking for.
- You can also select the Advanced view checkbox to use a search box through which you can search for specific symbols by their names. For example, you can search for prescription symbol (℞) by typing prescription and clicking on the Search button.
- Under the advanced view, you can also narrow down your search scope by selecting a group for a font from the Group by listbox. It would open a small window where you can select the groups of symbols you want to view. For example, you can view them by letterlike symbols, number forms, arrows, currency symbols and so on.
- Once you have found the symbol or special character that you were looking for, click on it to select it from the list, then click on the Select button followed by the Copy button. This would copy that character to your clipboard and you can paste it in any document editor using the hotkey Ctrl + V.