Help Charts - How to Articles - Diagrams


Custom Search

Computer keyboard key explanations

Do you ever need to type symbols or foreign letters that aren't on your computer keyboard?

Like © for Copyright or the Trademark symbol (™) or a real bullet (•) instead of an asterisk (*)?


Even though I write in English, I've often needed to type a name or word in French, German or Spanish, using letters with accents such as à, é, ü or ñ. But they aren't on my English keyboard. For a long time, I never knew the secret to these "missing" keyboard symbols... until one day I was given a list of them. Ah-ha! No more mystery... I just had to unlock the "secret method," which I had never learned before.



Actually, there are three methods you can use:


1) The "Insert" function in Microsoft Word/Publisher/FrontPage


2)The Windows "Character Map" for copying and pasting symbols


3) The "Alt Key" shortcuts for the same symbols.


How to Use the "Insert" Function:


In many Windows programs (including Word, Publisher and FrontPage), there's an easy way to insert symbols for copyright, trademark, cents and French, German and Spanish accents. You never again have to use e', when what you really want is é.


On the top of the screen of your open Word (Publisher/FrontPage) document, you'll see the headings: File, Edit, View, Insert, Format, etc. Click on "Insert" and on the drop-down list, click on "Symbol." A symbol box will pop up. Click on the symbol you want to insert into your text, then click on the insert button and close the box.


How to Use the "Character Map" in Windows:


Another method is to use the "Character Map" to copy and paste the required symbols. In Windows (XP) you'll find the Character Map 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 curser where you'd like to insert the symbol, click on the symbol you wish to insert, click on the Select Button, then the Copy Button and then paste the symbol 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.


How to Make Keyboard Symbols with the "Alt" Key and Numeric Keypad:


Another way is to use the "Alt" key and numbers - making sure to use your numeric keypad, not the numbers on the top of the keyboard. NumLock needs to be ON.


Using the numeric keypad, hold down the Alt key, hit the Zero key and then three additional numbers in succession. For example for © Copyright, hold down Alt, press the number 0, then press the numbers 1, 6, 9. Then you can let up the Alt key.


The basic symbols below will work with most text fonts.

Use the handy chart below as a reference......


Microsoft Standard English  (United States 101)  Keyboard

Typing International & Special Characters using the <Alt> key and the right-side numeric keypad.

<Num Lock>  key must be on!

The following table is based on the Times-New Roman or Arial font face and Internet Explorer v5.5. Consult the Microsoft Character Map to see what special characters are available for different fonts on your system. These special characters also work with the Microsoft English US-International keyboard.

Press and hold the <Alt> key while typing the numbers shown to make the special characters:<Num Lock>  key must be on!
Alt 0128 Euro currency symbol Alt 0195 A tilde
Alt 0131 Florin, Guilder or Gulden  Alt 0196
Alt 142
A umlaut
Alt 0132 Base line double quote Alt 0197
Alt 143
A ring
Alt 0133 Ellipsis Alt 0198
Alt 146
AE diphthong
Alt 0134 Dagger Alt 0199
Alt 128
C cedilla
Alt 0135 Double Dagger Alt 0200 E grave
Alt 0136 Circumflex Alt 0201
Alt 144
E acute
Alt 0137 Permille Alt 0202 E circumflex
Alt 0138 S caron (hacek) Alt 0203 E umlaut
Alt 0139 Left single guillemet Alt 0204 I grave
Alt 0140 OE ligature Alt 0205 I acute
Alt 0142 Z caron (hacek) Alt 0206 I circumflex
Alt 0145 Left single quote Alt 0207 I umlaut
Alt 0146 Right single quote Alt 0208 Capital Eth
Alt 0147 Left double quote Alt 0209
Alt 165
N tilde
Alt 0148 Right double quote Alt 0210 O grave
Alt 0149 Bullet Alt 0211 O acute
Alt 0150 En dash Alt 0212 O circumflex
Alt 0151 Em dash Alt 0213 O tilde
Alt 0152 Tilde Alt 0214
Alt 153
O umlaut
Alt 0153 Trademark Alt 0215 Multiply sign
Alt 0154 s caron (hacek) Alt 0216 O slash
Alt 0155 Right single guillemet Alt 0217 U grave
Alt 0156 oe diphtong Alt 0218 U acute
Alt 0158 z caron (hacek)    Alt 0219 U circumflex
Alt 0159 Y umlaut Alt 0220
Alt 154
U umlaut
Alt 0161
Alt 173
Inverted exclamation Alt 0222 Capital thorn
Alt 0162
Alt 155
Cent Alt 0223
Alt 225
(sz ligature)
(sharp "s")  
Alt 0163
Alt 156
Pound sterling Alt 0224
Alt 133
a grave
Alt 0164 Currency Alt 0225
Alt 160
a acute
Alt 0165
Alt 157
Yen Alt 0226
Alt 131
a circumflex
Alt 0166 Broken vertical bar Alt 0227 a tilde
Alt 0167 Section sign Alt 0228
Alt 132
a umlaut
Alt 0168 Umlaut (dieresis) Alt 0229
Alt 134
a ring
Alt 0169 Copyright Alt 0230
Alt 145
ae diphthong
Alt 0170
Alt 166
Feminine ordinal Alt 0231
Alt 135
c cedilla
Alt 0171
Alt 174
Left guillemet Alt 0232
Alt 138
e grave
Alt 0172
Alt 170
Not sign Alt 0233
Alt 130
e acute
Alt 0173 Soft hyphen (html: &shy;) Alt 0234
Alt 136
e circumflex
Alt 0174 Registered trademark Alt 0235
Alt 137
e umlaut
Alt 0175 Macron Alt 0236
Alt 141
i grave
Alt 0176
Alt 248
Degree sign Alt 0237
Alt 161
i acute
Alt 0177
Alt 241
Plus or minus Alt 0238
Alt 140
i circumflex
Alt 0178
Alt 253
Superscript 2 Alt 0239
Alt 139
i umlaut
Alt 0179 Superscript 3 Alt 0240 Small Eth
Alt 0180 Acute accent Alt 0241
Alt 164
n tilde
Alt 0181
Alt 230 
Mu or micro Alt 0242
Alt 149
o grave
Alt 0182 Paragraph (pilcrow) Alt 0243
Alt 162
o acute
Alt 0183
Alt 250
Middle dot Alt 0244
Alt 147
o circumflex
Alt 0184 Cedilla mark Alt 0245 o tilde
Alt 0185 Superscript 1 Alt 0246
Alt 148
o umlaut
Alt 0186
Alt 167
Masculine ordinal Alt 0247
Alt 246
Division sign
Alt 0187
Alt 175
Right guillemet Alt 0248 o slash
Alt 0188
Alt 172
One quarter Alt 0249
Alt 151
u grave
Alt 0189
Alt 171
One half Alt 0250
Alt 163
u acute
Alt 0190 Three quarters Alt 0251
Alt 150
u circumflex
Alt 0191
Alt 168
Inverted question mark Alt 0252
Alt 129
u umlaut
Alt 0192 A grave Alt 0253 y acute
Alt 0193 A acute Alt 0254 Lower case thorn
Alt 0194 A circumflex Alt 0255
Alt 152
y umlaut



Keyboard Key Explainations

~ Tilde

` Acute, Back quote, grave, grave accent, left quote, open quote, or a push

! Exclamation mark, Exclamation point, or Bang

@ At or At symbol

# Octothorpe, Number, Pound, sharp, or Hash

$ Dollar sign

% Percent

^ Caret or Circumflex

& Ampersand or And

* Asterisk and sometimes referred to as "star".

( Open parenthesis

) Close parenthesis

- Hyphen, Minus or Dash

_ Underscore

+ Plus

= Equals


{ Open Brace


} Close Brace


[ Open bracket


] Close bracket


| Pipe, Or, or Vertical bar


\ Backslash or Reverse Solidus


/ Forward slash, Solidus, Virgule, or Whack


: Colon


; Semicolon


" Quote, Quotation mark, or Inverted commas


' Apostrophe or Single Quote


< Less Than or Angle brackets


> Greater Than or Angle brackets


, Comma


. Period, dot or Full Stop


? Question Mark