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Inserting characters not available directly through the keyboard

As you know, only a limited set of characters are available from the standard keyboard. Plenty of alternative characters are available in Atlantis but cannot be inserted directly by pressing a standard keyboard key.

Nevertheless, these alternative characters can be inserted in a variety of ways:


The "Symbols & Characters" dialog

This dialog is displayed when you choose the "Insert | Symbol..." menu The main menu or simply menu is a horizontal bar with clickable commands anchored to the top of the main window of Atlantis:

Main menu
command, or click the corresponding toolbar button:

The 'Insert symbol' toolbar button

It provides the most basic way to insert a character or symbol in a document:

The 'Symbols and Characters' dialog

You can use this dialog to select and insert characters from any subset of any font installed on your Windows system.

Specific characters or symbols can be placed in a list of your favorite symbols for direct access from this same dialog.

Characters or symbols can be added as specific items to the Clip Library for direct access from the document window later (see below for details).

Direct access can also be created by assigning a hot key to any selected character or symbol. These characters or symbols can subsequently be inserted with the corresponding hot keys, without opening the "Insert | Symbol..." dialog.

The Alt+NNN mode (the Numpad mode)

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 keyboard "Num Lock" mode (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. However, Unicode codes greater than 255 can be typed without any leading zeros. For example, to insert the mathematical sign for sum (∑) whose decimal Unicode code is 8721, press the 8, 7, 2, and 1 keys on the numeric pad.
      Decimal Unicode codes of characters can be obtained through the "Insert | Symbol..." dialog (see illustration above).
  4. Release the Alt key.

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

If the font current at the insertion point doesn't include the required symbol, Atlantis will still insert it, using any other appropriate font available on your Windows system.

The Alt+X keyboard shortcut

If you know the hexadecimal Unicode code of a symbol, you can insert it to the document in the following way:

  1. Type the code in the document.
    For example, to insert the mathematical sign for sum (∑), type its hexadecimal Unicode code: 2211.
    Note that when the symbol's code is shorter than 4 digits (for example, "B9" or "1FC"), it should be typed with extra leading zeroes ("00B9" or "01FC").
  2. Press AltX to replace the code with the actual symbol.

Note that the Alt+X shortcut can be used not only to insert characters to the document, but also to obtain the hexadecimal Unicode code of any character in the document. To do so, select a character in the document whose code you want to obtain, and press AltX. The selected character would be replaced with its hexadecimal Unicode code.

The Clip Library

You can also use the Atlantis Clip Library to insert characters directly in the document window.

You first have to add any appropriate character to the Clip Library. This is easily done from the "Insert | Symbol..." dialog. You only need to select (click) a character in the map, then press the "Add to Clip Library" button:

The 'Add to Clip Library' button

Atlantis will automatically add the selected character to the special "Symbols" folder of the Clip Library:

The 'Symbols' folder of the Clip Library

When a character is available as a separate clip in the Clip Library, you can insert this character by double-clicking the clip in the "Symbols" Clip Library.

But you can also use the special asterisk modes of the Clip Library to insert symbols directly in the document window. With these asterisk modes, there is no need to remember the numeric codes of the characters. Remembering the font face will generally be sufficient. Here is how to proceed:

First, make sure that the asterisk modes of the Clip Library are enabled. Display the Clip Library panel of the Atlantis Control Board, then click the "Clip Library Options" button:

The 'Clip Library Options' button

In the "Clip Library Options" dialog, make sure that "Replace clip names As-You-Type" is checked:

Replace clip names As-You-Type

When this option is on, clips can be displayed by typing their names directly in the document window.

Let's take an example. Let's suppose that you have added 5 characters from the Andalus font to the "Symbols" Clip Library, using the method described right above.

Let's also suppose that you are typing a document, and the Clip Library is not displaying. You can still easily insert any one of the stored Andalus characters without taking your hands off the keyboard. All you have to do is type an asterisk plus the first three letters of the "Andalus" font face (letters can be typed indifferently in lower or upper case). A small window will automatically pop up, displaying all the clips whose names begin with "and":

Replace clip names As-You-Type

You can easily choose the required character with the cursor keys and press Enter to insert it.


The Atlantis AutoCorrect function can also simplify inserting accents and other characters not available directly through the keyboard.

AutoCorrect can be set so that strings of characters which are easily remembered and typed are automatically replaced by characters not available directly through the keyboard.

Note that these strings have to be preceded and followed by punctuation signs. The simplest and easiest to remember are strings preceded and followed by the same punctuation sign, like \a\, _a_, or :a:.

For example, you could create the following AutoCorrect replacement pair:

\a\ -----> à

After this replacement pair is created, typing "\a\" in a document will automatically be replaced with "à".

To create new replacement pairs, choose the "Tools | AutoCorrect Options..." menu The main menu or simply menu is a horizontal bar with clickable commands anchored to the top of the main window of Atlantis:

Main menu
command. This will open the "AutoCorrect Options" dialog where such replacement pairs can be added:

Replace With

Of course, you can add any other similar combinations. Here are a few examples of replacement pairs using easy-to-remember strings:

\e\ -----> è

\o\ -----> ò


/a/ -----> á

/e/ -----> é

/o/ -----> ó


:a: -----> ä

:e: -----> ë

:o: -----> ö


_a_ -----> ā

_e_ -----> ē

_o_ -----> ō

So you can build any appropriate combinations of characters in this way but remember that each such combination should begin and end with a punctuation sign.

See also...