|Which character do you
need? Is it the degree? A fraction? How about a musical note? an arrow? or well,
who knows? It's all easy and just a click or two away. There are really at least
two really good reasons to use the character map. 1) you often need a character
that's not on the keyboard, and 2) when you use dingbats, they are never on the
keyboard and they are really time consuming to find manually.
|So, where is it? OK, here we go. Just look down at the bottom left of your computer at your 'Start' menu. Click it.|
|If you're using Windows
XP, you'll go to "All Programs" With Win98, just Choose Programs.
|Either Way, you'll navigate
through your programs like I've shown you above. 1. First go to Accessories, then
2) go to System Tools and 3) finally go to Character Map and click it. That's
it, it will open for you
OK, here we are. Wasn't
that simple? Now we are looking at the Character Map for the font Arial. You'll
find every font on your computer has its own Character Map. Just click on the
Arial Name above to go to your other fonts.
it gets fun. ON SOME FONTS, NOT ALL, you'll
find a scroll bar to the right. Do you see all these neat symbols?
Yes they are there in your computer right now. Need an inverse bullet, a Male
or Female sign or perhaps you'd like to make a deck of cards using the Spades,
Clubs, diamonds or harts Symbols like we did for Iraq. Anyway these are much like
Dingbats, but they are right on your computer right now and they are in some of
your fonts like Arial or Times New Roman.
|I love dingbats. I guess they are more interesting than bullets and I like to use them in my letters. Anyway, I have about 20 fonts of dingbats. It's impossible for me to remember which key generates which dingbat. Maybe your memory is better than mine. Anyway, here I'm showing you that I selected a ball with a 1 in it and it appears down below ready to paste in my document.|
|Oh, so you're still using
Windows 98? Well here is the Character map from Windows 98. You can still get
the symbols you need. But, I can't get all of them. Some of the extended characters
just don't show up. But have no fear, we'll find them. But for most things you'll
want, you'll find them in the Window's 98 Character Map just like in the XP map
I've been showing you above
But where are the others? OK let's find them.
|OK, open Microsoft Word. Then look at the Insert Menu (shown here) and click on Symbol. The Symbol 'map' will open.|
|OK, here we are looking
at Arial. Guess what. It's the same as when we are looking at in Windows XP's
Character Map. Just Click the Insert Button to put anything you want into your
document. Check the Font Box (where you see Arial) for a few other Fonts. You'll
find much of what you want in the font called 'Symbol' if you don't find what
you want in Arial. Anyway it's all easy and you can do it all from now on really
More. Look above to the left and you'll see I've inserted the musical notes into the actual Word Document. If you want to use this symbol smoother else, like in Outlook Express, just copy and paste it from here. We do remember how to copy and paste, don't we?!
my old Windows 98 Outlook Express using plain text. You can paste right into it
and use many of your characters. To the left you can see I just pasted the notes
from Word. The right arrow shows you what happened when I used a deferent font
that Outlook didn't know.
Just because it's on my computer does not mean that every program has access to it or will recognize it. But as I said earlier, you must have the SAME FONT for it to work. And my Outlook Express is set to Times New Roman (Default) and so that's What I paste with. Also, only use standard fonts for eMail because even if it works on your computer, a custom font won't work on anyone else's that doesn't have your font.
I hope you've enjoyed this brief tutorial on finding and using the special characters. It's really frustrating to want them and not know where they are. Now you do.
| A few last things that I want to mention.
Here's one more tip. Whenever you want a new symbol, picture or special character, just do a search on the Internet for "Free Fonts" and the name of what you want.
Maybe you want bubbles for a party, Chili peppers for a dinner party. Maybe a cake for a birthday. Or 10 types of fish for a retirement dinner.
Still have questions? Did I miss something (probably)? I'll add it if you write to me.
Enjoy. . . Drew
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