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"Symbols & Characters" dialog

Use this dialog to insert various symbols and characters to the active document.

On the Character Map tab of the dialog you can choose a symbol from any font available in your Windows.

The second tab - Special Characters - allows to insert special characters like nonbreaking spaces or optional hyphens.

Character map

The core component of the first tab is the character map:

Character map

It displays all the characters available in the font selected in the Font combo box.

The Subset drop-down list in the top right corner displays all the character subsets available for the font currently selected. Selecting a specific subset automatically brings the corresponding group of characters into view.

You can then double-click a character or symbol to insert it in the active document. You can also highlight a symbol and click Insert.

The scrollbar on the right can also be used to bring into view the various character map subsets. Note that the character map can also be scrolled with the mouse wheel. Click the character map, then scroll the mouse wheel up or down.

There is one more way to navigate through the character map. You can click the character map, then use the cursor keys.

As you scroll through the character map, the numeric code of the highlighted character is automatically displayed in the Symbol code box.

By default, the symbol codes are displayed with their traditional decimal coding. But if you are familiar with hexadecimal coding and you find it more convenient, you can activate it by clicking the hexadecimal radio button at the bottom of the dialog.

If you know the code of the symbol that you want to insert, you can click the Symbol code box and type the required code directly. The corresponding symbol will automatically be highlighted in the character map. Click Insert, or press the Enter key to insert the character at the current insertion point.

Favorite symbols

Most probably you will use a limited number of symbols more frequently than others. These can be added to a list of your "Favorite symbols". To add a symbol to the "Favorite symbols" list, first click the symbol in the character map, then click the Add to Favorite symbols button (down arrow). The highlighted symbol will be added to the gallery displayed under the main character map:

Favorite symbols

To insert a Favorite symbol in a document, just double-click it, or click once then click the Insert button.

To delete a symbol from the Favorite symbols gallery, click the symbol, then click the small cross button above the list of Favorite symbols.

Inserting symbols in a fast way

Frequently used characters are inserted quickly and easily with the Favorite symbols gallery. But there are alternative ways to insert symbols in a fast way.

You can assign a specific hot key to each favorite symbol. For this, highlight the symbol either in the main character map or in the Favorite symbols gallery. Then click the Change... button next to the Hot key box. A small dialog will pop up where you can specify a hot key for the highlighted symbol. When a hot key is assigned to a symbol, the symbol can be inserted directly in the document window without bringing up the Symbols dialog. You only have to remember which hot key to press to insert which symbol.

There is one more way to insert symbols quickly. If you know the ASCII, ANSI, or Unicode numeric code of a symbol (either the decimal or hexadecimal code), you can insert it in the following way:

  1. Activate the "Num Lock" mode of your keyboard (press the Num Lock key if the Num Lock indicator is not highlighted on your keyboard).
  2. Press and hold the Alt key down.
  3. Type the required decimal ASCII, ANSI, or Unicode code on the numeric pad:
    • The ASCII codes (1 through 255) must be typed as is (without leading zero). For example, to insert the Greek letter Ω whose ASCII code is 234, just press the "2", "3", and "4" keys on the numeric pad.
    • The ANSI codes (32 through 255) must be typed with a leading zero. For example, to insert the "Ellipsis" symbol (...) whose ANSI code (in the Western code page) is 133, press the "0", "1", "3", and "3" keys on the numeric pad.
    • The Unicode codes (32 through 65535) must be typed with two leading zeros. But if a Unicode code is greater than 255, leading zeros can be omitted. For example, to insert the mathematical sign for sum (∑) whose Unicode code is 8721, press the "8", "7", "2", and "1" keys on the numeric pad.
    If you want to type a hexadecimal code, press the "X" key first, then type the code itself (to insert the same mathematical sign for sum, you'd have to type "X2211").

    Of course, "X" and all the hexadecimal numbers using letters A to F have to be typed entirely from the main section of the keyboard. You cannot use the numeric pad in this case.
  4. Release the Alt key.

Atlantis will check if the current document font includes the required symbol and insert it.

If the current font does not include that symbol, Atlantis will automatically apply any other appropriate font available on your Windows system.

See also...